Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's unique and spectacular landscape was formed slowly by the action of water, sand and stone scouring down through hard Proterozoic crystalline rock. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
The Canyon Rims
Both rims of Black Canyon offer beautiful views without going too far from your car. The South Rim Drive is paved and offers 12 view points along the way. Some are right on the road and others involve short strolls on well-maintained trails. Choose your adventure and take in as many as you wish, but all of them offer unique overlooks into the depths of the canyon.
The North Rim Drive is a road less traveled. Many prefer the relative solitude that this drive offers. It is a dirt road open generally from late March through mid-late November, depending on the weather. The North Rim Drive offers stunning vistas and six dramatic overlooks of the canyon, most of which are along the road.
Climbing and Bouldering
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offers a variety of hiking opportunities both on the rim and inside the canyon itself. Winter offers great opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing along the rim. There are a number of technical climbing routes in the Black Canyon. Most climbs are long, multipitch routes and are not for novice climbers. Access is difficult, but with the right amount of skill and preparation, climbing in the canyon can offer a unique world-class adventure.
Venturing into the Black Canyon
Backcountry trips into the wilderness of the inner canyon are challenging. Routes are steep, un-maintained, and unmarked. Permits are required for all parties attempting any backcountry route. Backcountry camping is available and hikers should be well-prepared with food and water. Check with a ranger before attempting a trip into the canyon for current route information.
Visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park website at www.nps.gov/blca/.