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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a 12-mile stretch of a breathtaking canyon found in Southwestern Colorado. It is located close to the Curecanti National Recreation Area . The park is managed by the National Park Service. It was established as a national monument on March 2, 1933.
Canyon LandscapeThe Black Canyon consists of a deep gorge with steep cliffs, with some reaching up to 686 meter tall. The Gunnison River passes through the canyon, right at the bottom of it. The national park includes the biggest sheer cliff in Colorado that stands up to 686 meter, called the Painted Wall. The narrowest point of the canyon is merely 12 meter wide.
Top Activities to DoWhen you visit the Black Canyon, you will enjoy a lot of things, mostly wildlife, such as the Mule Deer, Wapiti or Elk, Canyon Wren, Golden Eagles, or Turkey Vultures. You will cherish more of Black Canyon’s wildlife as you might encounter Yellow-Bellied Marmots, Mountain Cottontails, Coyotes, and Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrels. There are also reported sightings of a Blue Grouse, Red-Tailed Hawk, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, and more.
If you have a genuine love for nature and what it offers, you will surely love observing these wild animals as you go around the canyon.
Aside from watching the wildlife in the area, Black Canyon also makes room for various activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, fishing, and kayaking. Visitors also enjoy horseback riding and ranger guided tours.
For those with a more adventurous spirit, you can go camping in the South and North Rim Campgrounds. However, you have to take precautions to protect yourselves and your food from bears in the area.
During the winter, you can still enjoy several activities in the Black Canyon. You can go snowshoe trekking, cross-country skiing, or winter backcountry camping. Just be extra careful to avoid hypothermia by wearing the right clothes and bringing the right equipment.
How to Reach Black Canyon
By CarYou can reach the Black Canyon by driving on SR 347. Turn north from Route 50. From the same route, you can also turn north when you drive by the East Postal Road, this is closed during winter. Both routes will lead you to the canyon’s south rim. If you want to get to the north rim, you have to pass by the gravel road, which is also closed during winter.
By BusYou can take the bus to Grand Junction or Montrose.
By TrainAmtrak has a California Zephyr Emeryville-Chicago route that has a Grand Junction stop. You can get to the Grand Junction from Emeryville on board the eastbound train at 11:28 AM, or from Chicago on board the westbound train at 4:10 PM.
By PlaneGunnison and Montrose are the neighboring cities with commercial flights. You can also find another airport close to the Grand Junction is about 130 kilometers from the Black Canyon if you drive by Route 50.
Most Notable Landmarks
Colorado National MonumentThis is also under the management of the National Park Service and is located near the Grand Junction. Colorado National Monument's canyons lead to sandstones and mesmerizing rock formations made of granite-gneiss-schist.
Maroon Bells-Snowmass WildernessMaroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness is Wilderness Area found in central Colorado’s Elk Mountains. It occupies 181,535 acres of wilderness in the White River and Gunnison national forests. It was founded in 1980.
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Author: epicandrea. Last updated: Feb 26, 2015