The incredibly steep drop-off areas painted canyon walls, and epic cliffs are captivating and even a little bit terrifying the first time you visit Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

From the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to its deepest point at the bottom is a drop of 2,722 feet. Some of the deepest areas of this canyon get little more than 30 minutes of sunlight per day, yet visitors can discover an incredible feat of science and nature by exploring this canyon from top to bottom. Once you shake off the shadowy jitters, you'll find it's not scary at all.

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Where is the Back Canyon of the Gunnison National Park?

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has two entrances. The original entrance to the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison can be accessed from Grand Junction by taking Highway 50 to Delta, then taking 92 to Crawford. The south rim of the canyon can be found by traveling Highway 50 to Montrose and then following Colorado 347 to the south rim entrance.

What is Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison Famous For?

The incredible forces of water, wind, and time have been hard at work here for millions of years. Nature's artwork can be appreciated here from top to bottom. Over millions of years, the Gunnison River carved this canyon out of 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian metamorphic rock. The river is estimated to have dug out the black canyon at a rate of 1 inch per 100 years. Scroll on to see more of the park in the photo gallery below.

Is Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Dangerous?

Like any National Park in Colorado, there are plenty of dangers here at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Hiking, kayaking, or rock-climbing in an incredibly steep canyon comes with some risks. Non-experienced hikers should not randomly try to trek down to the bottom of the canyon. You DO need a permit from the ranger station to attempt to hike down to the river. The drive down the 5-mile East Portal Road is much easier if you want to see the river up close.

Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

This extreme National Park features cliffs half a mile high, and some of the oldest rocks anywhere on earth. Scroll through the photos below to see inside this incredible canyon that is home to several fun hikes and breathtaking overlooks.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

MORE: The Story Behind Colorado's Beautiful Million Dollar Highway

In 1883, the county of Ouray commissioned Otto Mears to build a toll road from the town of Ouray up to the top of the Uncompahgre Canyon. Scroll on to learn more about the incredible highway Mears built through Colorado's San Juan mountains.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

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We're keeping a running list of wildfires in Colorado in 2022. See the wildfires that crews around the state are dealing with this year. We sure appreciate our firefighters, first responders, forest rangers, and park rangers. Thank you for all you do.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

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