Deep, Steep and Narrow Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison 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.
It's REALLY IMPORTANT to note that the Exclamation Point trail is NOT near Olathe, Colorado. This trail is on the NORTH RIM of the Black Canyon National Park, which is nearly 90 minutes from Olathe. Access to the North Rim is from Colorado Hwy 92, The nearest town to the Exclamation Point trailhead is Crawford, Colorado.
I woke up before sunrise to do some photography. After photographing some areas on the East of the park, I used the overlook trail to get wide open vistas of the canyon walls and river below. It's a short hike from the road and you are rewarded with breathtaking views. An obvious statement, but be careful where you step. There is scree and larger loose rocks everywhere.
This trail was at the North Rim Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park. Starts as an old access road that leads to some abandoned buildings. Hang a right and the gravel turns into dirt as the real trail begins. I made a loop and didn't go all the way down to Deadhorse Gulch. Not a lot of views but no one else was on the trail in the middle of the day (Exclamation Point & Green Mt. trailhead was packed by noon).
Pearl short trail. I combined this trail with uplands and rim rock to make a 3 mile loop trail back to the parking lot at the south rim visitor center where I had started. Crowded, so go early or late. Only took me an hour to do the loop of all three trails. Abundant wildlife and fauna.
this route is the easiest route to the river from the rim. However, most would find it extremely hard. At one point you have to use a chain to assist in getting down and back up. I did it out and back in one day. If I did it again I would camp at the river and return the next day. Great backpack camp at the river's edge.