Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Elizabeth D.

The gorgeous cliffs and walls of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are simply just a breath taking view. The towering canyons and swift rapids allow for a great camping or sightseeing. With two million years of work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering and erosion, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky.


This beautiful park is located at 102 Elk Creek, Gunnison, CO 81230. The park is 943.38 miles away from Oskaloosa. It would take 14 hours and 44 minutes just to get there! The total length is 53 miles, which includes another canyon within Curecanti National Recreation Area and aslo Gunnison National Conservation
area The Black Canyon within the park is 14 miles.

Park Hours

The actual park is open 365 days of the year which would make it an idealto go for Holidays! The hours for the Visitor Center are: Fall, Winter, Spring: 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. and Summer is 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Although the visitor center is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.


Summer daytime temperatures average between 60ºF to 100ºF, Summer nights are 30ºF to 50ºF. Winter daytime temperatures range from 20ºF to 40ºF, at nights its -10ºF to 20ºF. Precipitation is small, short afternoon thunderstorms can occur during the summer.Layered clothing is recommended. The Warmest Month is July, But the coolest month is January, and finally the wettest month is Septmber


The area around the Black Canyon of the Gunnison was traveled and used by Tabagach Utes (a tribe), before white people came to the area. There is no evidence that they ever visited the river bottoms, though signs of theiron the rim areas have been found. Captain John W. Gunnison explored the area in 1853. He thought the canyon would be impossible to pass through. But the Park became an official park in October 21, 1999.


The Peregrine Falcon

Before the creation of 3 dams upstream of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, the Gunnison River was as much as 5 times more powerful than it is today. Also, the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon drops at an average 95 feet per mile. By comparison, th
e Colorado River through the Grand Canyon National Park drops an average 7.5 feet per mile.Did you Know, the Black Canyon is home to the fastest bird in the world, the Peregrine falcon. Scientists estimate that Peregrines can reach speeds over 200 miles per hour in an dive.

Things to See

There is lots of wildlife and plants located in the Black Canyon. Some of the plants include, cottonwood trees, willows, river branches, chokecherry, and boxelders. Poison Ivy can also grow up to 5 feet tall along some places in the river. Some of the animals include, Gold Eagles, Bald Eagles, Prairie Falcons, Mule Deer, Black Bear, Bobcat, elk, and occasionally a mountain lion. Fishing is also a popular activity with fish like the, Bonytail Chubs, Colorado River Cutthroat Trout, Colorado Roundtail Chub, Bluehead Sucker, and also the Flannelmouth Sucker.

Things to Do

For expert rock climbers you could try rock climbing but they say the crumbling rock and the dizzying heights really aren't the best conditions to climb in. But for
unitao_kescomic_1.jpgmore relaxed activities you could go fishing, kayaking, rafting, watch wildlife, or maybe even horseback riding. But if you decide to go in Winter you might go cross country skiing.