Thursday, May 21, 2020

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

7:40 am - Thursday - May 21st - Ridgway State Park, CO - 37° F, 36% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the north.....clear, blue, cold skies today with a forecast high of 65° F.  On this day in 2012 we arrived at Craters of the Moon National Park.......↴

Years ago I was told by a friend that we needed to visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  Black Canyon is about 25 minutes east of Montrose, CO, which is just north of our current location.  At the time we had no plans to be in Western Colorado, so we put it on the 'back burner', so to speak.  Well, now we are in Western Colorado, so why not? 

We were on our way with Glenn and Laureen in their Honda Element just before 10 am.  Montrose is actually quite a large town, which surprised me.....they have a Walmart, Home Depot, and pretty much every chain fast food, and restaurant you might imagine.  

We arrived at the entrance to the park (no fees being charged right now) before 10:30 am, and made our way to the first view point........

......this is a somewhat narrow, but deep canyon (ranges from 1,500-2,500' deep), and is pictures cannot do it justice, but here they are.......

 My favorite vista point located at the Visitor's Center

 The Gunnison River

 Dragon's Tail

 Tallest 'cliff' in Colorado at 2,300'

....there must be over a dozen vista points along the paved drive along the south rim ranging in walking distance from zero to 600 yards from the parking areas.  We spent around 3 hours taking in all the amazing views.  We would have loved to drive down to the river, but that road was still closed do to current pandemic restrictions.....

The view as we exited the park

.....we took time to eat our lunch near the 'High Point' overlook, before heading for home.  The visitor center is still closed, but 'masked' Rangers were on hand outside to answer questions.  I'd say about 50% of the people we encountered were wearing masks, but we continued to go without them.  'Black Canyon' is located in Montrose County where there have been 11 deaths, and 136 confirmed Wuhan Flu cases.  In Ouray County, where we are currently residing, there has been 1 death, and a grand total of 7 confirmed cases.....I love rural America!

After returning to Ridgway State Park I spent the rest of the day finishing the 2nd book in the Jack Carr Terminal List series (True Believer), and began the 3rd and final installment (Savage Son) early evening.

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. On the other side of the canyon there are more vistas, some which require a little bit of a hike to get to. We stayed at the Delta County Fairgrounds in Hotchkiss for $8 per night with electricity (30 amp), which was so much self serve, I had to mail in our fee once we got back home because no one was around to collect (in 2017).

  2. If you get back by Montrose you might want to slip over to Gateway

    The auto museum and resort owned by Hendrichs who owns the discovery channel is wild...

    The drive is incredible