Archive for the ‘Black Canyon’ Tag

A Long Way   Leave a comment

The Painted Wall of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado is a stunning sight. At this location, the canyon is over 2,200 feet tall, almost twice the height of the Empire State Building. The stripes on the wall are like pages in a book. The rock layers of Black Canyon tell a story of past environments, ancient animals and dynamic processes of change. Photo by
Ryan McGinley. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 4/27/17.


Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Posted June 8, 2017 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park   1 comment

Black Canyon OTG NP 00Where Is It: 298 miles southwest of Denver, off I-70.

The Birth: From

In the late 1920s, citizens of Montrose and other area towns, led by Rev. Mark T. Warner and local civic groups, began efforts to have the scenic beauty of the canyon preserved as a part of the National Park System. On March 2, 1933, President Herbert Hoover proclaimed Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument. Since that time thousands have enjoyed the scenic grandeur of Black Canyon. A smaller number of hardy individuals have hiked to the bottom of the canyon for fishing, rock climbing, and camping. A portion of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is classified as wilderness to ensure that the landscape will remain forever in its natural state.

It Happened Here: A railroad was built to take tourists through the bottom of the canyon … read the story of this railroad, which was finally abandoned in 1955, here.

Size: 30,750 acres

# Visitors: 192,570 in 2012. July was the largest month in 2013; February the smallest.

Plants: Some of the more common plants native to the park are aspen, Ponderosa pine, desert mahogany, Utah juniper and single-leaf ash. The Black Canyon gilia (Aliciella penstemonoides) is a species of wildflower native to the park.

Animals: Park wildlife includes elk, magpies, mule deer and eagles. Migratory birds include the mountain bluebird, canyon wren and peregrine falcon.

Choices:  North rim or south rim?

The south rim has a seven-mile, one-way road connecting you to a few miles of trails that are well worth your time. A trip to the canyon floor will take more effort and time.

To take the road less traveled, visit the north rim. You’ll need to take the long drive around on a gravel road to enjoy those spectacular views. Allow a minimum of two hours. It might take you three.

Fees: $15 per vehicle.

Staying There: Camping is available in the park: 13 sites are on the north rim and 88 are on the south. Lodging is available in neighboring towns.

Contact Info:

102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230
(970) 641-2337

Current Issues: In 2012, the Park nearly set a precedent for the National Park Service by ending commercial guide access to the park for rock climbing. After a large protest from the climbing community, the NPS reversed course and didn’t change the policy at all. Coverage in the Denver Post is here.

Don’t Miss This: Some great pictures of the Park are in this online gallery.


National Park Service: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

National Parks Traveler: Musings on Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Photo Spot: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Jason’s Travels: Exploring The Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Live Laugh RV: My Own National Park