"The not so big ditch" Top 5 Page for this destination Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument by goingsolo

Black Canyon was designated a national park in 1999(55th one in U.S.)Still, at 30,300 total acres, it is the fourth-smallest national park, exceeding only Hot Springs (Arkansas), Wind Cave (South Dakota) and Virgin Islands national parks. The centerpiece of the new park is the dramatic Black Canyon, whose dark-gray walls of schist and gneiss were carved over 2 million years by the Gunnison River. The canyon plunges as much as 2,660 feet, with one sheer drop measuring 2,200 feet. The narrowest point at the bottom is only 40 feet wide. Both the canyon and its rims are home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, golden eagles and the endangered peregrine falcon.

The park is divided into two sections: the more popular, and more easily accessible south rim and the unpaved yet less crowded north rim. Since this park is so small, it is possible to explore either the north rim or south rim in less than a day. The rims are quite a distance apart driving wise, so doing both in the same day is unlikely.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful views
  • Cons:Not much to do, very few trails and only those with permits and the ability can reach the bottom
  • In a nutshell:Unless you're a rock climber, its worth a visit just for a few hours
  • Last visit to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument: May 2003
  • Intro Updated Sep 18, 2004
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Reviews (9)

Comments (4)

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    Nice tips, I want to go hike the trails!

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2007 at 3:47 AM

    Wow! Now we can say..."there's diamonds in them thar hills..."

  • frank_delargy's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2004 at 7:30 AM

    Wow .. 3 gallons of diamonds! I'd love to be that tourist! Never got to this park myself when we visited Colorado.. just didn't have enough time.. this time! Thanks for the descriptions!

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2003 at 11:49 AM

    Nice place! Nice tips!


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