Our 1.5 hour boat tour through a portion of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison began at the Pine Creek trail head, which meant a walk down 232 steps followed by a flat 3/4 mile hike along the Morrow Point Reservoir.
The trail follows the old Denver and Rio Grande narrow gauge railroad bed, but most of it is now under the water of the reservoir. It’s a very scenic walk, and worth taking even if you don’t ride the boat.
Ranger Tim gave an informative presentation about the history of the Gunnison River, the railroad (quite a challenge to build judging by the rock walls of the canyon), and the controversy over building the dams along the river.
We even got to pass by Curecanti Creek, where we had hiked the day before. You can barely see someone in a blue shirt on the right bank, where the trail ended. It was much easier getting there by boat.
Chipeta Falls (160’), which would be more impressive had it not been such a dry year.
The Cureanti Needle, which was used on the logo for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. We also saw this the other day from the end of the Curecanti Creek trail.
In our travels we tend to avoid many of the touristy attractions, but this boat tour was well worth the time and money ($16 or $8 for old man Jim), especially if you enjoy looking at rocks as much as we do. Our necks got stiff from looking up so much. And I counted on the way back up the trail. There are 232 steps!