Guide to The Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park in Colorado and the Surrounding Towns
About 20 minutes away, Montrose CO makes a good starting place to pick up supplies and find some local restaurants.
Montrose's main street has great little shops, art galleries, and antiques.
Himalayan Pun Hill Ted Nelson’s Steakhouse Crash Burger Trattoria Di Sofia Colorado Boy Pizzeria Cimarron Coffee Roasters
In addition to the things to do below, this is a great park to do some backcountry camping.
This is a popular area where there are several easy-going nature trails, all of which offer excellent canyon overlooks.
Top Hiking Trails
Warner Point Nature Trail (easy): 1.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Montrose, Colorado that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October. Oak Flat Loop Trail (moderate): 1.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Montrose, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Gunnison Route Trail (hard): 1.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Montrose, Colorado that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and fly fishing and is best used from May until October.
See the canyon from the bottom
You can drive down East Portal Road. This is a slow route which has a 16 percent grade and has many sharp turns. You'll find picnic tables and shelters along the way which would make a great place to stop for lunch.
Morrow Point Boat Tour
Join a park ranger for a leisurely 1½ hour boat tour on the Morrow Point Reservoir. You will travel into the famous Black Canyon of the Gunnison and learn about local geology, wildlife, early inhabitants, railroads, water control efforts and more. https://www.nps.gov/cure/planyourvisit/boattour.htm
Mountain Bike Uncompahgre Plateau
This is one of Colorado's beautiful and unusual backcountry territories that flies under the radar for travelers seeking a unique experience on the lesser-traveled, unbeaten path. See pics and get more info here: https://www.visitmontrose.com/outdoors/wilderness-areas-parks/uncompahgre-plateau/
Crawford is probably the best starting place because the park entrance is only about 20 minutes away. There are several brief hikes that access spectacular views of the narrower end of the canyon.
Delta, CO is just northwest of Montrose and is a great little town to visit as well. There are murals and sculptures that dot main street and some eclectic shops and local eats.
Stop along the West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway at Crawford, Hotchkiss or Paonia. And to the north sit Cedaredge and Eckert. Each of these towns offer some cafes, shops and lodging options if you need.
Treat yourself to the Mesa Winds Winery near the North Rim 20 min from Crawford, CO
Essential Park Info, camping, and reservations