Explore the most popular forest trails in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Another great hike in the park!

Beautiful views from this trail.

Much easier up than down!

hiking
6 days ago

I began this hike early and saw/met no other hikers on it. It is easy to follow, but does have some good steep spots. It has good overlooks of the canyon, too!

hiking
17 days ago

Very adventuresome! I enjoyed the challenge it presented!

My friend and I did this very short hike last Sunday (6/3) after having spent the previous two days hiking down near Telluride. We hiked around 22 miles on our two day adventure, so the 1.5 mile round trip trek was a bit more strenuous for us than for some of the others who were just beginning their journey.

It was a little overcast when we started our hike around 10 am, but the sun came out in full force once we reached the viewpoint, and it illuminated the canyon in spectacular fashion. Definitely one of the more panoramic views among the 12 stops along the "Scenic Drive", but the "Painted Wall" still may have been my favorite amongst the options.

I would love to return to this National Park when I have some more time to explore the canyon and hike around. Definitely worth while for hikers of all ages and fitness levels!

Hiked 5/28/18, very few other hikers around. Steady incline towards the back end as you reach the summit. Views are amazing along the way definitely stop at exclamation point along the way!! The top has a lot of greenery but if you can stand up high the views are well worth it.

Like this place better then mt Garfield

Nice, easy and short hike to a beautiful view from the North Rim of the Black Canyon

hiking
28 days ago

Wow what a view. My favorite view because you can look up canyon. Don't pass this one up

hiking
1 month ago

What a hike! My husband and I did this hike in late May. It was perfect weather for hiking. The ranger who issued our wilderness permit made the route sound much more difficult than it really was. Most of the hike was through loose talus and scree and made for some unsure footing at times. The view at the bottom makes the hike worth it. We loved the 80 foot chain. Fun dayhike!

hiking
1 month ago

great dayhike; definitely sketchy footing in some areas with plenty of scree and talus fields. combined with the poor footing, the grade is steep enough to provide good entertainment even for fit people.

hiking
1 month ago

Best approach is to take the right fork if you are coming from the visitor center and come up from the western side of the trail.

Some nice views of the canyon from the trail but they are easy to replicate from Rock Rim Road if you are not up for the hike. But this hike is a good hike if you want to explore below the rim without committing to a full descent into the canyon.

My GF and I hiked this trail a few days ago and really enjoyed the experience. The views from various points along the trail were stunning. From the summit of Green Mountain you can see so much of the surrounding area. A quick note: if you take the detour for Exclamation Point (which we highly recommend) it ends up being a little bit over 7 miles round trip. Also, by way of advance notice, you'll need to take along $20 for the entry permit. While you're there, don't pass up the short .25 mile Chasm View, which provides a safe way to view straight down into the Black Canyon and the Gunnison river below.

My husband said it was one of his favorite hikes ever. The route down was difficult because it was pretty steep. Also, we had to stop a few times to turn around and video record directions for the correct route to take back up. There is no real trail and there appeared to be many different possible “paths” to take you back up. Having the videos to refer to helped a lot on the way back because even though we thought we had the route memorized, everything looks so similar that we did question some possible paths. But the view at the bottom is spectacular. We brought a nice lunch to enjoy at the bottom. The climb up was painful. We did this hike early spring and though we’re young (25 years old) we hadn’t worked out all winter but made it up just fine.

Best view on the south rim!

Beautiful views for a nice short hike. One of the best views on the south rim!

hiking
2 months ago

“Hiked” this in late March while there was still snow on the ground. The route was very icy until about 2/3rd of the way to the river. The rest was scree field. Very steep, dangerous hike but absolutely worth the challenge. With ice on the ground, it took much longer to complete (5+ hours round trip). Could not have completed the hike without crampons. An ice axe was also an invaluable tool for most of the hike. Easily the most treacherous hike I’ve ever done.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy. and quick hike. Great views!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice small hike. Nice views.

Beautiful views!! Went in March and it was very snowy. But if you stop at the visitor center you can rent yaktrax for free. They helped immensely! The trail does have a few steep inclines that posed a fun challenge with the snow - again have some sort of boot/shoe grip if in winter months. Couldn’t stop smiling during my hike. I will be coming back for sure.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail was covered in snow, and we didn’t have the right gear so we couldn’t do the whole loop, but the first half mile was very pretty. Beautiful in the winter!

Beautiful sunset lights up the West Elk Mountains pink. Then I saw a huge full moon rise up from behind the peaks. Stunning. Definitely recommended for sunset!

Intense and steep hike, would not recommend when snow is present due to slipping risks. Beautiful views of the Gunnison river at the bottom, followed by a challenging climb back up. Trail is unmarked for the most part (a few cairns here or there), so take note of your route back when descending. Took about 3.5 hours in snow round trip, but definitely worth it - do a trip on the Rim Drive after, and look down to really put the feat in perspective!

hiking
7 months ago

This was probably one of the hardest hike I've ever attempted (simply because of the elevation - about 8000ft at the top, and I'm not acclimatized yet), and while the views at the bottom were nice, I would say that the "reward" wasn't worth the intense effort. Maybe if it was during the summer, and you spent more time at the bottom in the water, etc...
I was able to get from the South Rim Visitor Center down to the bottom in 35 minutes, and it took me 50mins to get back up, but I was by myself and was going quickly. Shaded by trees most of the way down, so there weren't too many occasions to enjoy the view.

Trail in good condition. Starts at visitor center. This a loop trail. The right hand entrance at the star of trail is a steeper descent than the left side which uses switchbacks to go down. Trail slippery when wet.

Another short and easy overlook trail. This spot also has a very nice view of the Painted Wall. And of the several lookouts that I visited, this one had the best unobstructed view of the Gunnison River running through the canyon far below.

hiking
8 months ago

Loved it! The feat of reaching the river and looking up is worth any questioning or fear on the way down. Just remember which route you took down as there is no trail per se or markers.

beautiful easy hike with amazing views!

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