This hike begins from the Cedar Point parking area, located along the South Rim Drive 5.7 miles from the entrance. This trail is one of the many short walks to the excellent viewpoints along the south rim. What makes this one different is the interpretive materials along the way. Numerous trailside signs point out the various plant and animal life along the trail. The trail ends with two overlooks directly across from the Painted Wall. The addition of the exhibits makes Cedar Point probably the best choice if you want to choose only one of the overlooks requiring a walk away from the road.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison Hiking Trails
Hiking opportunities in Black Canyon of the Gunnison are rather limited. There are countless routes down into the canyon itself, but these are extremely strenuous routes that require special skills, equipment, and permits. Hiking is limited to a few trails on the rims. All of the hikes listed here are accessed from the south rim. Hiking distances given below are total, roundtrip distances unless otherwise stated. Difficulties are only a general guideline, for an adult in good condition, and do not take into account trail length.
(click map to open very large locator map of the hikes below)
Oak Flat Loop
#2 - South Rim Visitor Center
This hike begins from the South Rim Visitor Center area, located along the South Rim Drive 1.5 miles from the entrance. It offers a way to descend below the rim, albeit slightly, without the rigorous commitment of the inner canyon routes. It drops into and follows a ravine, with two overlooks along the way. Towards the end the trail climbs back out of the ravine and runs parallel to the South Rim Drive before returning to the visitor center.
#3 - Gunnison Point or South Rim Campground
This hike can be started from two places. Most start from Gunnison Point, behind the South Rim Visitor Center, located along the South Rim Drive 5.7 miles from the entrance. Campers can also start it from the other end within South Rim Campground. This simple trail follows the rim between these two points. It passes Tomichi Point at about the halfway point. It winds in and out of the pygmy pinyon juniper forest offering frequent views into the canyon below.
Warner Point Nature Trail
#4 - High Point parking area
This hike begins from the parking area at High Point at the end of the South Rim Drive, 7.6 miles from the entrance. The walk to the Warner Point area is the longest to any of the named viewpoints on the south rim. It has been made into a self-guiding nature trail, with a pamphlet keyed to numbered posts available at the trailhead. It descends and ascends through pinyon juniper forest, with views of the area mountain ranges frequent. The trail actually ends a short distance from Warner Point, where you get good views into the canyon.