Formerly called "Devil's Slide", this route takes users from the North Rim of Black Canyon to just above The Narrows, one of the tightest sections of the canyon.
This trail is incredibly steep and is strewn with loose, ever-changing rock cover. Watch your step. Additionally, there are rock ledges that must be navigated on this route. Some are over 8' in height.
There is one tent pad large enough for a 2-person tent. If you're planning on bringing more than one tent, either be prepared to really squish on this spot, or bring some hammocks to string up in the trees.
Bring your fishing rod and license, and see if the fish are biting!
From the parking area for Balanced Rock Trail
, take the road east to the top of the draw. Here, you'll see a warning sign for the route, which marks the start of your epic journey.
If you're doing this as an overnight, Day 1 is a piece of cake. I would recommend starting either early in the day, or in the late afternoon due to the intense sun this route is exposed to.
From the get-go, the route dives into dense foliage and you may have to bushwhack a fair amount. After you break out of this first section of foliage, the trail intermittently dives in and out of tree cover, which becomes less dense the closer you get to the bottom.
Near the bottom (at a large boulder, hard to miss; there are a lot of large boulders), you'll see a spot for your tent.
Throughout this hike, there are two looming and growing presences; the Gunnison River and the Canyon walls themselves. Obviously, the closer you get to the river, the greater its thundering gets. Like the river, the size and scope of the canyon walls also grow larger. You truly have to see them to believe their immensity.
Once you've taken the time to enjoy this area, return the way that you came to get back to your vehicle and the top of the canyon.
We saw quite a few Indian Paintbrush flowers.