nature trips



wild flowers

no dogs


kid friendly


trail running

dogs on leash

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.

4 days ago

Did this hike in mid-April when snow was starting to melt considerably. The path was not icy, but we did not get to the bottom!

Beautiful views at the start, and the pathways were largely snow free (although muddy). As you turn for the 'final' descent downwards it gets considerably trickier. As someone with eyes bigger than my stomach, I was up for it, my partner who isn't a fan of slope-scrambles didn't want to go any further.

This is a hike where you have to be confident about slip sliding down some pretty rocky path whilst knowing you're coming back up there a few hours later!

It is an amazing, easy to follow hike and the river (which we visited in another spot later) would be well worth the trip. But it is difficult, tiring, and the view as you descend further starts to disappear behind trees, so you have to be committed.

Saw some very large tracks - maybe elk. Also saw a very stupid wild turkey pottering about at the top.

As everyone else says, go to the visitor centre, get advice from a ranger and remember you cannot do this without a wilderness permit.

Best view on the south rim!

Great, short hike! Extremely windy at the top.

One of the best views in the park. It is right behind the visitor center, not the overlook right before you get to the visitor center. If you’re at the south rim, you have to go see this!

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

19 days 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.

22 days ago

Easy. and quick hike. Great views!

22 days 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.

1 month 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!

5 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.

5 months ago

Gunnison National Park's highest elevation (8,289 feet) at the end of the South Rim Road. The view was wonderful during my July visit, looking back across the canyon with the rolling green hills and the mountains in the distance.

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.

A short and easy overlook trail that has a spectacular view of the Painted Wall on the north side of the canyon. It is the tallest sheer cliff in Colorado at 2,250 feet. My July vacation schedule didn’t allow for it, but this vantage point is probably best for viewing and taking pictures earlier in the day...before the likely afternoon glare.

A short walk down from the visitor center to an exposed and remarkable lookout point with amazing views down into canyon. Combine with the nearby Oak Flat Trail if you have time for the relatively short hike below the rim.

on Mesa Creek Trail

5 months ago

Great trail to see the bottom of Black Canyon. Easy trail along the river with great views and great rocks.

5 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.

easy and breath taking

beautiful easy hike with amazing views!

Nice short hike.

Very nice trail with an absolutely stunning view over the canyon from the green mountain vista point. The was almost no one else on the trail...very quiet.

Could have sat and grooved all day at the trail's end

This is the best viewpoint in the park! Beautiful! :-)

7 months ago

Short walk. Great views.

7 months ago

Short hike, Great views.

This is a great little trail, about 1.4 miles RT. There is a trail guide you can pick up at the trailhead that describes numbered points of interest along the way. The views at the end are spectacular and you get to learn a lot about the history and natural features of the canyon. Definitely more elevation change that I expected, but not strenuous by any means.

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