Friday, July 3, 2015

North Rim Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park



Back in August 2012 we spent time in Curecanti National Recreation Area and did some hikes along the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, hiking down into the canyon, and even taking a boat ride on the Gunnison River. 


Since we didn’t actually visit the national park while we were there, and Cedaredge is about 40 miles from the North Rim, we thought it would be a good place for a day trip and a hike. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park contains only 14 miles of the 48 mile canyon, ranging in depth from 1,800 to 2,700 feet. The South Rim is the most visited since it is easier to access, being just 15 miles from Montrose. The North Rim is more remote and is accessed from a 6 mile dirt road 5 miles south of the small town of Crawford, CO. There is no visitors center, just a ranger station with park maps, a couple outhouses, and a five mile drive with scenic overlooks, 14 miles of hiking trails, and a small campground. We opted to do several short trails to overlooks since although we were at almost 8,000’ it was in the mid 80s with very little shade.


Our favorite was the North Vista trail that begins at the ranger station, where we hiked 1.5 miles to Exclamation Point. You just have to love that name!







At its narrowest the canyon is only 40 feet across. It isn’t the Grand Canyon but it’s pretty impressive.


On another note, I’ve been going to the animal shelter in Cedaredge a couple times a week to socialize with the kittens. They have at least a dozen one to two month old kittens and several of them are very skittish and need more human contact to get them ready for adoption so I am happy to oblige. Jim came with me once but you know him, way too soft hearted and wants to give them all a home! My favorite is Gilligan, the gray and white one at the top right. He’s not one of the shy ones.

Cedaredge, CO3


  1. What a sweet bunch of furballs! Good for you for helping the little guys find homes. Looking forward to seeing that canyon.

  2. That's bad that you have a favorite kitten. I see another adoption in your future. They are so cute, I'm not sure I could resist.

  3. We visited Gunnison twice. Gorgeous area.

    Oh my gosh. I would be like Jim. They are adorable.

  4. We camped at the park and loved Gunnison. Wish we had taken a trip down the river. Your pictures are terrific and really show how beautiful it is. But we've never been to the North Rim so thanks for taking us there. Watch out for those kitties. Remember what happened last time! LOL - and how are the dynamic duo??

  5. We toured the north rim a couple of years ago. You're right, it is remote but pretty. I can't believe how hot CO is right now. My daughter flew to Phx for the holiday weekend to visit her brother and she says it doesn't feel that much warmer than Denver.... crazy!

  6. Thanks for the pictures of Exclamation Point. We had our dogs with us the day we were at the North Rim and they weren't allowed :-(. I'm with Jim; I would have them all bundled up and home with me!

  7. Looks like a beautiful and lightly visited National Park...perfect! Exclamation Point is the perfect name, I'm kind of surprised we don't see that name more often as we hike.

    Those kittens are too darn cute and would be very hard to resist...Rosie would be mighty pissed off we brought one home...

  8. What a beautiful place, hard to believe it's that hot up there :-( Surely more peaceful than the GC with the lack of crowds. Gilligan is certainly a cutie, be strong!!

  9. Good to know that the North Rim is not as popular. This looks like such a beautiful place. I can't wait to visit. Yes, the 80's are too hot to hike far. Good idea to do several short hikes:) I'm with Jim! No way could I go there and play with the kittens and not bring them all home. Glad you are able to go and help out and return home empty handed:)

  10. This is an NP I know little about so I really enjoyed your post, although I would not have enjoyed the temps much. As soon as I read about the kittens I said "oh-oh", thinking there was going to be an addition to your family.

  11. Yes, thanks for the information about this park. It's on our list now...And if you all think it's hot in Colorado, it's been in the high 90's in northern Montana now for about a month. Dry as can be. Really unusual heat for this area.

  12. It may not be the Grand Canyon but impressive nonetheless. Haven't been there in about 40 years.

  13. just went there (N Rim) the 1st time last weekend! (weakened ...). your pixures are so much better 'n mine! (we recently adopted a couple kits from the Rifle shelter). maybe we'll check Cedaredge for the next pup ...