Black Canyon at the Gunnison

2 comments

The name alone sounds terrifyingly adventurous. Jon and I were making our way around the Rocky Mountains on our way to check out a job lead in Crested Butte, Colorado when this National Park caught my attention.

The Gunnison National Forest area is massive and beautiful, ranging from dense, pine covered forests to huge, gaping rock canyons.

The amazing drive to the North Rim of the canyon (which is supposed to be the most spectacular, and have a killer campsite right on the canyon’s rim) had unparallelled views.

Part of Curecanti National Recreation Area
Part of Curecanti National Recreation Area
Blue Mesa Lake
Blue Mesa Lake

We drove through Curecanti National Recreation Area and hit up highway 92, snaking through Crawford State Park and enjoying 2-3 hours of the most spectacular views of the Gunnison River. Let it be known that this stretch of road has many hairpin turns, high cliffs, sleep grades and overall panic but awe-inducing moments.

A particularly scary moment to capture. Standing right on the canyon's cliff
A particularly scary moment to capture. Standing right on the canyon’s cliff

We snaked around the National Park and enjoyed views like this from the top:

I'm giddy with altitude, nerves and a killer view
I’m giddy with altitude, nerves and an awesome view

It seemed like a while later we finally arrived at the North Rim of the Black Canyon at the Gunnison. There are only a handful of camping spots at this site, so arrive early if you want in! Luckily we secured our spot and set off on the easy-ish 1/3 mile hike around the chasm for a few views of the canyon at sunset.

Black Canyon at the Gunnison, North Rim
Black Canyon at the Gunnison, North Rim

IMG_5544

It's hard to convey in pictures the sheer brevity and depth of this place
It’s hard to convey in pictures the sheer brevity and depth of this place

The next morning we decided to hike a 3 mile loop from the base of camp to Exclamation Point, which offers some of the best views of the North Rim of the Canyon. This hike is moderate and can get a little hairy at times (slippery rock, cliff edges), but the views are spectacular!

The trail head is located just behind the ranger station
The trail head is located just behind the ranger station
View from Exclamation Point. Sure you can go closer, but I wasn't planning on falling in!
View from Exclamation Point. Sure you can go closer, but I wasn’t planning on falling in!

Last but not least we did the crater rim drive which offers different perspectives and cool rock formations of the canyon. It’s definitely worth the 4 mile drive.

Special shout-out to my old home!
Special shout-out to my old home!

IMG_5594

What’s one the prettier places you’ve been lately? Feel free to share!

Advertisements

2 comments on “Black Canyon at the Gunnison”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s