South Rim

people at an overlook on a peninsula jutting out into Black Canyon, with the canyon in the background
Gunnison Point (above) is one of 12 overlooks along the South Rim of Black Canyon. This overlook is just behind the South Rim Visitor Center and is one of the first glimpses many visitors get of the Black Canyon.

NPS photo

 

Learn and Explore

With a paved drive, park visitor center, and large campground, the South Rim is the busier, more developed side of the park.

Getting Here

The South Rim is 7 miles north on CO Highway 347 from the intersection with U.S. Highway 50 east of Montrose.

Roads

All roads on the South Rim are paved. In winter, the South Rim Drive is closed to vehicles just passed the visitor center. The road to East Portal is also closed in winter.

 

South Rim Visitor Center

The visitor center is open all year, but opening and closing times vary by season. The visitor center is staffed with rangers and has exhibits, the park film, and a bookstore. Three hiking trails and Gunnison Point Overlook may be accessed from the visitor center. Maps, newspapers, junior ranger books, and wilderness permits are available within the visitor center. There is a self-registration kiosk for wilderness permits when the visitor center is closed. The visitor center has car parking and some trailer/ RV parking. In the summer, the parking lot often fills.

 
 

Water

In the summer months, water fill-up stations are available in the campground and at the visitor center. All of the water on the South Rim is trucked in, so we ask that you use the fill-up stations conservatively and be prepared with your own water. In the Spring, Fall, and Winter, water is not available on the South Rim.

Things to Do

Overlooks

There are 12 overlooks to enjoy along the South Rim Drive. Most have a short (few hundred yards at most) walk to the edge. There are three handicapped accessible overlooks: Pulpit Rock, Chasm View, and Sunset View.

Hiking

Three trails leave from the visitor center and one from High Point.

Inner Canyon Use

Intrepid visitors may rock climb or take an inner canyon scrambling route.

 

Camping


Last updated: May 16, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230

Phone:

(970) 641-2337 x205

Contact Us