Ranger-led Field Trips and Classroom Programs

Grade Levels Navigation

 

Curriculum-Based Education Programs

Note: Due to staffing vacancies, we are not offering ranger-led programs at this time.


In the meantime, check out our Self-Guided Field Trip resources! Schools may apply for an Academic Fee Waiver for park entrance fees.

e-mail us
Education Program
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Curecanti National Recreation Area
102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230

 
 

Note: Due to staffing vacancies, we are not offering ranger-led field trips at this time.


Academic Fee Waivers
Academic institutions may be eligible for an entrance fee waiver at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for teacher-led field trips. Please submit your fee waiver application at least two weeks in advance of your trip. Academic Entrance Fee Waivers can be accessed online here.

Program Menu
Please see our curriculum-based educational program offerings below. We hope to offer Black Canyon field trips and classroom programs again soon. Please check back.
 

Pre-School & Kindergarten


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Ravin' about Ravens (Fall Only) - Students learn the often overlooked and misunderstood raven. Rangers will use photos, props, and age-appropriate activities to share the adaptations that help ravens to find food and survive. (30 minutes)
    K-LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
  • Cougar Tales (Spring Only) – Students learn about mountain lion life cycles, their incredible adaptations, and learn how to stay safe in lion country. (30 minutes)
    K-LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
 

Grade 1


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Sensational Wildlife – Students participate in fun, sensory activities to experience how local wildlife use their senses to survive. (60 minutes)
    1-LS1.A: Structure and Function
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Ecology: Animal and Plant Survival – Students learn about the plants and animals that live in Curecanti, with an emphasis on how species survive and grow. (3.5 hours)
    1-LS1.A: Structure and Function
  • (Montrose Area) Ecology: Animal and Plant Survival – Students learn about the plants and animals that live in Black Canyon, with an emphasis on how species survive and grow. (3.5 hours). (3.5 hours)
    1-LS1.A: Structure and Function
 

Grade 2


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Black Canyon Animals – Students become animal detectives to learn about the many different species that live in Black Canyon. (60 minutes)
    2-LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Geology and Ecology: Curecanti Exploration – Students learn about how the canyon formed – through fast and slow geologic forces – and how its habitats support many different kinds of living things. (3.5 hours)
    2-ESS1-1, 2-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
  • (Montrose Area) Geology and Ecology: Black Canyon Exploration – Students learn about how the canyon formed – through fast and slow geologic forces – and how its habitats support many different kinds of living things. (3.5 hours)
    2-ESS1-1, 2-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
 

Grade 3


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Curecanti Fossils – By examining fossils and making a model fossil, students uncover how past life is preserved, and how fossils can help us decipher Colorado’s fascinating past. (60 minutes)
    3-LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Ecology: Wild Adaptations! – Curecanti plant and animal adaptations are explored through hands-on observations and role-playing. (3.5 hours)
    3-LS4.C: Adaptation
  • (Montrose Area) Ecology: Wild Adaptations! – Curecanti plant and animal adaptations are explored through hands-on observations and role-playing. (3.5 hours)
    3-LS4.C: Adaptation
 

Grade 4


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Geology Rocks! – Students explore the geologic events that form the landscapes of Black Canyon. Students review rock-forming processes, identify rock samples, and learn to read the stories behind the scenery. (60 minutes)
    4-ESS1-1: Earth's Place in the Universe, 4-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
  • Curecanti’s Hydroelectric Dams – After learning about different types of dams, students design and build a model dam. Students consider the environmental impacts and suggest conservation actions (60 minutes)
    4-ESS3-2: Earth and Human Activity
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Geology: Dillon Pinnacles Adventure Hike – Students hike and explore the unique Dillon Pinnacles formation with an emphasis on geologic forces, weathering, and erosion. (3.5 hours)
    4-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth, 4-ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
  • (Montrose Area) Geology: Rockin' Out at the Black Canyon – Students hike and explore the unique Black Canyon with an emphasis on geologic forces, weathering, and erosion. (3.5 hours)
    4-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth, 4-ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
  • (Montrose and Gunnison Area) Colorado History: Hands on the Land – This area holds 10,000 years of human presence showing a succession of changing cultures, values, and technologies. Students explore the human history of this area, and the struggle in balancing human needs and wilderness ideals. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 4: CO Social Studies Standard 2.2
 

Grade 5


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Water We Share – Rangers lead interactive demonstrations and activities to illustrate how finite our water supply is. Students consider human impacts on waterways and possible mitigations. (60 minutes)
    5-ESS2.C - The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Ecology: Curecanti Ecosystems – Students investigate relationships between living and non-living aspects in the Curecanti ecosystem. Students learn about local producers, consumers, and decomposers. (3.5 hours)
    5-LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • (Montrose Area) Ecology: Black Canyon Ecosystems – Students investigate relationships between living and non-living aspects in the Black Canyon ecosystem. Students learn about local producers, consumers, and decomposers. (3.5 hours)
    5-LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
 

Middle School & High School

CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:

  • Exploring Geology: Earth's History Written in Black Canyon Rocks – Students explore the geologic events that form the landscapes of Curecanti and the Black Canyon, and the forces that continue to sculpt the magnificent canyons, mesas and buttes (erosion, mountain building, and volcanic activity). (60 minutes)
    MS-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
    HS-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems

FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:

  • (Gunnison Area) Geology: Geologic History of the Dillon Pinnacles – Students explore the past and present geologic forces that form the Curecanti landscape, including analyzing past life forms and fossils. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    MS-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
    HS-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems
  • (Montrose Area) Geology: Geologic History of the Black Canyon – Students explore the past and present geologic forces that sculpt the magnificent Black Canyon. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    MS-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
    HS-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems
 

Last updated: April 21, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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

Gunnison , CO 81230

Phone:

970-641-2337

Contact Us

Stay Connected