Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a national park in the western United States, on the south side of the Gunnison River in Colorado. The park was established in 1999, and covers an area of 30,750 acres (12,500 ha). The Gunnison River is one of the few rivers in the world that flows through a deep and narrow canyon. The canyon is 1.7 miles (2.7 km) deep and up to 2,000 feet (610 m) wide in places. The park is located in the Gunnison County, about 60 miles (97 km) southwest of Grand Junction, Colorado.
The park offers many activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, bird watching, and photography. There are also ranger-led programs, such as walks and talks, Junior Ranger programs, and night sky programs. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of the darkest night skies in the nation.
The park has two visitor centers, one at the South Rim and one at the North Rim, both of which offer exhibits and ranger-led programs. There are also a number of overlooks, trails, and picnic areas. The South Rim is the more developed area and offers a variety of amenities, including a campground, a lodge, and a restaurant. The North Rim is less developed and can only be accessed by a four-wheel drive vehicle.
The Gunnison River was first explored in 1853 by a group of prospectors, but the first scientific exploration of the canyon did not occur until 1876. In 1877, John C. Fremont named the canyon after Major John W. Gunnison, who had surveyed the area in 1853. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument, and in 1999, the monument was redesignated as a national park.
The park is home to a variety of plants and animals, including bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, cougars, bobcats, coyotes, and foxes. The canyon is also home to a number of birds, including eagles, hawks, and owls.
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a popular destination for rock climbers. The South Rim is accessible to climbers of all abilities, and there are a number of easy to moderate climbs. The North Rim is more difficult to access and is recommended for experienced climbers only.
The park is open all year round, but the South Rim is only accessible by road from mid-April to mid-November. The North Rim is only accessible by road from mid-May to mid-October.
Photos of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Gunnison River flowing through the forested peaks of Black Canyon (Unsplash.com)
Crystal clear river in Black Canyon (Unsplash.com)
Beautiful view of Black Canyon of the Gunnison on a sunny day (Unsplash.com)
View of the Gunnison River (Unsplash.com)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
What to do in Black Canyon of the Gunnison?
There are plenty of things to do in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park! Hiking, camping, fishing, and rock climbing are all popular activities in the park.
How deep is Black Canyon of the Gunnison?
The deepest point in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is 2,722 feet (831 meters).
Average weather in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park