Deep, Steep, and Narrow

Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky.

A hiker sits on a large rock overlooking Black Canyon.
Things to Do

Make the most of your visit by planning your activities and experiences in advance.

Steep crags dip toward the river, light colored rocks streak the darker canyon wall, snow behind

The geologic story of Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of uplift, volcanism, and the erosive force of water.

A lone hiker gazes at the Gunnison River in the Black Canyon Wilderness
Wilderness Use Permits

A free permit is required for all inner canyon use including hiking, kayaking, and climbing.

A videographer films a ranger presenting an educational program
Curriculum Materials

Explore curriculum materials including educational videos, lesson plans, and student worksheets.

The Milky Way and a night sky full of stars glimmers over the Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Black Canyon Astronomy Festival 2023

From September 14-16, celebrate the dark night skies at three separate sites along the Gunnison River corridor!

Distant rocky pinnacles rise above a large reservoir with sagebrush in the foreground.
One River System, Two Park Experiences

Visitors to nearby Curecanti National Recreation Area can experience the Gunnison River in a different form.

Last updated: March 8, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

102 Elk Creek
(GPS/physical address = 9800 Highway 347, Montrose, CO)

Gunnison, CO 81230



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