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Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Designation National Park
Location West Central Colorado, United States
Nearest Cities Montrose, Colorado,
Crawford, Colorado
Latitude 39° 00' N
Longitude 107° 00' W
Area 30,045 acres
Date of Establishment 1933 (National Monument), October, 1999 (National Park)
Visitation 174,346 (2002)
Governing Body National Park Service
IUCN category III (Natural Monument)

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located in western Colorado. There are two entrances to the park. The more developed south rim entrance is located 15 miles east of Montrose. The north rim entrance is located 11 miles south of Crawford and is closed in the winter.

Table of contents
1 Geology
2 Biology
3 Attractions
4 History
5 Music


Black canyon is a deep gorge which the Gunnison River flows through. It is so deep and narrow that little sunlight reaches the into it, making the walls look black.

In the canyon, Gunnison river drops an average of 96 feet per mile. In one two mile stretch it drops 480 feet. From the top of the canyon you can hear the river as it crashes through the canyon.


Plants native to the park include: Aspen, Ponderosa pine, Sagebrush, desert mahogany, Utah Juniper, Gambel oak (scrub oak), and Singleleaf Ash.

The birds that live in the park are: Great Horned Owl (resident), Mountain Bluebird (migratory), Steller's jay (resident), Peregrine falcon (migratory), White-throated Swift (migratory), Canyon Wren (migratory), American Dipper (resident).

[[Image:black_canyon_gunnison_20030921.2.jpg| Sipapu Bridge]]
Black Canyon from Tomichi Point


The main attraction of the park is the scenic drive along the south rim. There is also a campground and several miles of hiking and nature trails. The river can be accessed by a steep, unmaintained trail that takes about 4 hours to hike down and 6 to hike back.


The area was established as a National Monument March 2, 1933 and made into a National Park October 21, 1999.


Black Canyon of the Gunnison is also a symphonic composition, which has been performed on the rim of the canyon.