Hi friend! Are you ready to plan a trip to the deep and steep Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park? This park protects a magnificent vertical landscape and a powerful river that changed everything! You are sure to find something here that everyone in your group will LOVE.
Black Canyon is a dizzying place — and likely somewhere you will talk about years to come. I’ll never forget the fear and awe that filled my body the first time I tentatively peeked over the edge of the cliff. The whole experience was intoxicating!
There are some exciting things to do here. You may have already looked at a map and been a little overwhelmed — and eager — to make sure that you don’t miss the best sights.
I’m a former park ranger, and I’ll help you plan your vacation down to the details. I’ve extensively explored Black Canyon of the Gunnison and am here to help! Whether this is your first time to the park, or if you are returning after many years and would like to be reintroduced to the park, this list of 5 things is for you.
What You Need to Know
- Black Canyon National Park has three sections — the South Rim, the North Rim, and the East Portal. The South Rim and the East Portal are both accessed via Highway 347 near Montrose. Visiting the North Rim requires an additional 2.5-hour drive around the canyon from the more popular South Rim section. If you only have one day in the park, focus on the South Rim area.
- Water is scarce up here! Drinking water is brought in to the park by truck and is extremely limited and only available seasonally. Bring water with you if possible. If camping, be aware that filling up your RV in the park is prohibited.
- There are no hotel options within Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, check out the town of Montrose. There are also several beautiful frontcountry campgrounds within the park.
- Black Canyon is open year-round, and entrance fees are required. You’ll pay these fees at the South Rim Entrance Station or the North Rim Ranger Station upon entering the park.
- Exercise caution on trails and viewpoints — sheer dropoffs are common. For your safety, always stay on designated trails and behind barriers. Never throw anything into the canyon. Even a tiny rock can be fatal if it hits any hikers or climbers that are below the rim.
I’ll make sure that you don’t miss the sights that make this park so popular, but I also want to provide a few treasures that are off the beaten path as well. Let the adventure begin!