Description - The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's unique and spectacular landscape was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring down through hard Proterozoic crystalline rock. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
The South Rim is open every day, with limited access in winter. The North Rim is open every day, but North Rim Road and the ranger station are closed in winter.
- Prepare yourself for 2,000 ft, narrow canyon walls dropping almost vertically to the Gunnison River. Many of the overlooks are easily accessed by car and very short walks. Interpretive programs are offered all summer. Evening programs are presented at the South Rim campground on summer weekends.
The park offers two campgrounds, one on the north rim and one on the south rim. The campgrounds are open from April to October. The North Rim campground offers 13 sites in Pinyon-Juniper forest, water available, no hook-ups. The South Rim campground has 88 sites in Pinyon-Juniper forest. It offers vault toilets, limited water, and 30 amp electrical hookups in Loop B only.
The park visitor center is located two miles from the south rim entrance station on the South Rim Drive. The visitor center includes a digital video theater with two orientation programs.
Recreation - Black Canyon of the Gunnison offers outstanding opportunities for camping, viewing scenery, hiking, backpacking, scenic driving, viewing scenery, bird watching, wildlife viewing, climbing, fishing, rafting, kayaking, and in the winter months cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Climate - Weather can vary greatly between the canyon rim and canyon floor. Summer daytime temperatures range between 60 to 100F (15 to 38C), nights 30 to 50F (-1 to 10C) Winter daytime temperatures range between 20 to 40F (-6 to 4C), nights -10 to 20F (-23 to -6C) Precipitation is minimal, brief afternoon thunderstorms can occur during the summer. Layered clothing appropriate for the season is recommended.
The park is located in western Colorado, approximately 250 miles SW of Denver. South Rim: 15 miles east of Montrose, via U.S. Hwy 50 and CO Hwy 347 North Rim: 11 miles south of Crawford, via CO Hwy 92 and North Rim Road (closed in winter).