The South Rim Road is open to the Visitor Center, but the remainder of the road is closed to allow for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The North Rim and East Portal Roads are closed for the season.
NPS PHOTO BY SHASTA MCCOY
Expert kayakers find the Gunnison River through the National Park an arduous challenge. This stretch of the Gunnison is for only the most experienced and well equipped kayakers.
The rapids within the national park are considered Class V and some sections are unrunnable. This is a very technical paddle and includes numerous long, difficult and dangerous portages. Poison ivy is nearly impossible to avoid, and can be found growing 5 feet tall along the river.
Kayakers run the river at their own risk. The Gunnison River through the National Park has claimed the lives of even the most experienced, respected kayakers. The river's hydraulics can make self-rescue or rescue by others impossible.
The following are general water flow ratings*:
*These are general water flow guidelines. Local kayak experts suggest the unique hydraulics of the Gunnison River through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park make kayaking even more difficult than the above ratings.
Water temperatures are cold year-round, usually around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Swimming or wading is not recommended.
WILDERNESS USE PERMITS ARE REQUIRED FOR KAYAKING.
Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area
Contact the Bureau of Land Management for information on the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area:
Did You Know?
The Painted Wall is the highest cliff in Colorado. From river to rim it stands 2250 feet (685 meters), and is 1000 feet (304 meters) taller than the Empire State Building.