Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black Canyon of the Gunnison Fast Facts

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park covers a total area of 30,385 acres
  • The number of people visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison in 2016 was 238,018 *
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison was made a national park on October 21, 1999
  • The lowest elevation found in Black Canyon of the Gunnison is 5,440 feet at the Gunnison River
  • The highest elevation found in Black Canyon of the Gunnison is 8,775 feet at Signal Hill
  • The entrance fee for Black Canyon of the Gunnison is $15 per vehicle per week
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park lies in the Mountain time zone
  • We last visited Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in June 2016
* Complete annual visitation stats can be found at Black Canyon of the Gunnison Visitation Statistics

Random Facts About Black Canyon of the Gunnison

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison is not named for the color of its rock. The canyon is so deep and narrow that sunlight only hits the bottom for a very short period each day, hence it being “black”.
  • The Gunnison River drops an average of 34 feet per mile through the canyon. The Colorado River drops an average of 7 feet per mile through the Grand Canyon. At its steepest point within the park, the Gunnison River drops an amazing 240 feet in one mile.
  • Like many national parks, Black Canyon of the Gunnison was first established as a national monument on March 2, 1933. It was elevated to national park status on October 21, 1999.
  • The Gunnison River is borderline unnavigable through the national park area. Expert kayakers can attempt it, but require several portages. Downstream from the park, in Curecanti National Recreation Area, a boat tour is available on the wider, calmer part of the river.

Where is Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park?

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located in west-central Colorado, where the Gunnison River has cut a deep and narrow canyon. Visits to both the north and south rim are possible, though the south rim is more developed and sees the large majority of visitors. The city of Montrose, just a few miles from the south rim, is the closest city of size. Further directions and maps can be found at Getting to Black Canyon of the Gunnison.


North Rim Entrance
(38.61289175586236, -107.66230474429904)
South Rim Entrance
(38.5354091401513, -107.71164397912798)

More About Black Canyon of the Gunnison

We have pages on all sorts of things about Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Choose from the menu above the map, or from right here. We have sections on Weather, Getting to the Park, Lodging, Camping, Hiking Trails, Road Guides, and pages to buy Books and Trail Maps. You could also check out the park’s Photo Gallery.