Black Canyon of the Gunnison, North Rim

Ouray, Colorado — September 11, 2009

We decided to get away from the almost daily mountain showers and take a day trip to the less visited northern rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of the newest of our national parks.

(click on any of the following photos to view a larger image.)

black canyon of the gunnison north rim

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is very deep and narrow.

black canyon of the gunnison - north rim

The fast flowing Gunnison River loses more elevation in 48  miles than the 1500 mile Mississippi River does from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.


For a sense of the scale of this canyon, the arrow in the image above is pointing to the national park visitor center across the canyon on the south rim.  The inset image is a blow-up of the building from the original of this image.

needle rock across crawford reservoir

Needle Rock from across Crawford Reservoir on the way to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

black canyon of the gunnison - north rim

Just as on the south rim, there are a number of overlooks, as well as a campground, though the campground on the north side of the park is significantly more primitive.

black canyon of the gunnison - north rim

The sky over the canyon was awesome.

black canyon of the gunnison - north rim

It was a 227 mile day trip, much of it over twisting and turning mountain roads.  While the road inside the park is a good paved road, the county Black Canyon road between the state highway and the park is graded and graveled.

After a long day of driving and sightseeing, we stopped for pizza in Montrose.


Commentary and images from the road

image and information from September 11, 2009

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