Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Location Montrose County, Colorado
City Montrose, Colorado
Area 30,750 acres
Established October 21, 1999
Visitors 220,000 (estimate)

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a National Park located in the state of Colorado. Interestingly, the Curecanti National Recreation Area, which is also run by the National Park Service, is in part of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Established recently on October 21, 1999, Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of four National Parks in Colorado. The 30,750 acre park comprises of an awe-inspring canyon known for its steepness.

History of the areaEdit

Like many of the other national parks and monuments in Colorado, the Ute tribe is known as one of the earliest settlers at what is now the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Years after they abandoned the site, European explorers went past the canyon while looking for a route to California. Fur trappers also went by the canyon, but left no record of doing so because of their inability to write. Eventually Americans would come to the south in droves, though cared very little in preserving the Black Canyon of the Gunnison area, instead focusing on making a buck by acquiring the resources around it. It wouldn't be until later when Americans came to the Colorado area not to make a profit but to instead preserve the natural beauties.

Visitor informationEdit

The climate of the Black Canyon typically differs depending on whether the visitor is above the canyon or in the canyon. During the summer temperatures are ordinarily in the balmy seventies and eighties, though may reach temperatures as high as 100 degrees. The winter is much more harsh, thus explaining the sudden drop in visitors when the colder months approach. During the winter, nights can sometimes get to minus ten below zero.

There are no restaurants within the national park, though visitors will find plenty of food in the surrounding cities.

For safety reasons, tossing any objects over the canyon's edge is prohibited. Even throwing small objects that are seemingly harmless can kill a person hiking within the canyon when thrown at such heights. It is also advised that visitors keep their children safe by keeping them far away from the canyon's edge.


There are many activities that visitors can partake in. The most popular activity in the park is to go along the multiple scenic drives in the park, particularly along the South Rim Road, a long road featuring twelve overlooks on the canyon. A visitor center, titled South Rim Visitor Center, is located along this drive and features exhibits pertaining to the canyon and its surroundings. A North Rim Road is also available to guests, but is not nearly as popular. There are six overlooks along this scenic drive. In lieu of a visitor center is the North Rim Ranger Station. The East Portal Road is another scenic drive that gives visitors access to another National Park Service, Curecanti National Recreation Area.

The Canyon Rims are the highlights of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Small hikes from the road will give sightseers a stunning view of the scenery. The scenic drives mentioned above comprise of various overlooks that give tourists the most spectacular views in the park.

One popular activity is the Morrow Point Boat Tour. During the duration of the tour, a Park Ranger will guide people down the river for seven miles, explaining the history and geology of the canyon. The Morrow Point Boat Tour is not the only ranger led tour in the park. There are plenty of tours led by Park Rangers that occur during the summer and the winter.