Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
Located just east of Montrose is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, a 12 mile section of the one of the deepest canyons in North America.
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park showcases a 12 mile section of the Gunnison River gorge. The Gunnison River drops an average of 34 feet per mile, the fifth steepest descent of a river in North America. The Gunnison Survey of 1853 provides the first governmental account of the canyon. By 1882 the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad conquered the canyon to Cimarron with the three foot narrow gauge line of rail. There is a railroad exhibit at Cimarron several miles east of the park on Highway 50. There are 3 entrances to the Park, both north and south rims. The total length of the Black Canyon is 53 miles, upstream is the Curecanti National Recreation Area, and downstream is the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area.
Location: 8 miles east of Montrose on Highway 50.
South Rim: open daily, with the South Rim Road being open from April to Mid November. During the winter the South Rim Road is open to Gunnison Point.
North Rim: the North Rim Road and ranger station are closed in the winter with the road closing from late November until mid-April.
Area: 48.05 Square Miles
North Rim Campground: seasonal camping on the North Rim from April to mid-November, 13 campsites, water available from late May to mid-September, no electrical hookups, no dump station, or showers, no flush toilets .
Elevation: 7,783 feet
Best Boondocking Spots Near The Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is one of the best places I have ever had a chance to visit. It is big enough to make you feel overwhelmed but still very intimate that you will love and see time pass by your eyes. The black Canyon will expose you to different activities that anyone who loves the outdoors will adore. There are old rocks, steep hills, and some of the craggiest spires that you will love.
When I visited the Black Canyon, I loved everything about it. It was an adventure that was a long time coming. I loved the nature trails the most, and you can see rock formations known as dragon points and painted walls. I also got to see many birds among the fastest in the world, like the peregrine falcon. It is estimated that in an aerial dive, it can fly at a speed of 200mph. If you are a bird lover, this is the place to visit. Read on so that you can learn more about the adventures we had at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National park.
Camping In Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
There are campgrounds on both rims with toilets but no showers. There is drinking water available only from mid-May through mid-December, and because it must be trucked in, filling of RV water tanks is not permitted. The South Rim Campground, which rarely fills, has 88 sites some sites are open year-round. The North Rim Campground, which is open spring through fall only, has 13 basic sites and occasionally fills up. Sites at the North Rim Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis, while some sites in the South Rim Campground can be reserved , with a $3 reservation fee. Cost is $12 per night for basic sites and $18 for sites with electric hookups. RVs over 35 feet long are not recommended in either campground.
Campgrounds with hot showers and full RV hookups are available in Montrose. These include Cedar Creek R.V. Park, 126 Rose Lane, Montrose, CO 81401 , which is open year-round, with spacious sites, lots of mature trees, and attractive landscaping. There are 47 RV sites , including large pull-throughs for big rigs, a shady creekside tent area, free Wi-Fi and cable TV, a coin-op laundry, a well-maintained bathhouse, 18-hole minigolf, a playground, propane, and a dump station. Tent sites are $25 per night, and RV sites run $29 to $35 per night. There are also several camping cabins, which share the campground’s bathhouse, at $42 double and deluxe cabins with full bathroom and kitchen for $99 double. Major credit cards are accepted.
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Black Canyon Rv Park & Campground
– COLORADO CAMPING –
Now is the time to make your summer reservations, summer will be here before you know it.
WELCOME TO BLACK CANYON
RV PARK & CAMPGROUND
Let us provide you the ideal facilities for any type of get away you want to plan. There are large, spacious pull thru RV sites, six fully furnished cabins, a “camping cabin”, several tent sites and a large lodge that will sleep up to 10 people. The laundry facilities and public showers are clean and accessible to all patrons. There is now FREE wi-fi available with stay. If you are traveling alone with a camper, tent, or car stop in. Also if you are looking for a place for a large group get together that has all three types of travelers we are able to offer something for everyone. The cabins are open year round allowing you to enjoy the wonders of Colorado all year. Those who hunt or snowmobile will find our location perfect for easy access to the nearby public lands and groomed trails. The RV campsites and showers are seasonal.
If it’s fishing, hunting, hiking, sight seeing, taking the Jeep for a spin, climbing rocks on the four wheelers, riding the snowmobiles, getting that perfect wildlife photo or just relaxing, this is the place to stay.
Soap Creek Horse Coral And Soap Creek Campground
This area is located east of the Black Canyon, about an hour from the South Rim Visitors Center and 1.5 hours from the North Rim. Obviously, not the closest campsite for Black Canyon.
There is free, dispersed camping at the Soap Creek Horse Coral, which may be a bit busy with horse trailers. After all, it is a horse coral.
Just up the road, the Soap Creek Campground is an established campground for people who prefer to have vault toilets and water nearby. $12 per night. No reservations first-come, first-served at all 21 sites.
People love the hiking trails in the area as well as the abundant shade, which is not available at many of the other campsites near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
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How To Get To Campground
The park is located approximately 250 miles SW of Denver.
South Rim: 15 miles east of Montrose, via U.S. Hwy 50 and CO Hwy 347.
The maximum number of people in a campsite: 8
The number of cars per campsite: 2
Checkout time: 1 pm
Stay Limits: Stay is limited to 14 consecutive nights for a total of 30 days within a calendar year.
Dispersed Camping Near The South Rim
If you dont mind camping without amenities , then youll be very happy to know that dispersed campsites are available about ten minutes from the entrance to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park! Free camping nearby!
Along Highway 347 there is a turnoff which leads to a maze of dispersed campsites. This unpaved area is full of deeply-rutted dirt roads. They can become nearby impassible when it rains and 4WD is recommended even during dry conditions.
There are a few campsites very close to the road which may be suitable for some larger vehicles, but the best sites are tucked away down the road. We camped at two different sites here. Both had excellent views of the Montrose area and were perfect for watching the sunset. One had a decent amount of shade from the juniper trees, but some sites are fairly exposed to the wind and sun.
If you choose to venture deeper into this area, be prepared to get stranded if it rains. I love using 4WD to get away from crowds, but these roads get insanely slick during rainy conditions and they have areas which are quite steep. The dirt can turn into serious mud pits at times too. Please be careful if you go out here and bring sufficient food and water.
For most people with a 4WD vehicle looking for dispersed camping near the Black Canyon National Park, this is your best bet.
But if you need a space for a larger vehicle or one without 4WD, then the next option might be suit your needs better.
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More Notes About Black Canyon Camping: Water Dump And Other Things To Do
The Shall Gas station in northern Montrose offers a water fill and dump station. It is free if you purchase at least 10 gallons of fuel, or available for a small fee if youre already full.
Another water fill stations is located at the Conoco in Montrose.
If you are in the Black Canyon area, there are two things worth checking out nearby. First, the incredible San Juan region, located south of Montrose. The towns of Ridgeway, Ouray, Telluride, Silverton, and Durango are all within a relatively-short drive.
This is where a portion of the famous million-dollar highway is at. This is one of my absolute favorite areas in Colorado and if you have never visited, I strongly encourage you to check out this area.
If you are going north or east from the Black Canyon National Park , then I recommend going through a major Colorado winery area. The towns of Paonia and Marble offer quite a few places with wine tasting and can be a fun stop.
Camping Near Montrose And Delta Around Black Canyon Of The Gunnison
People flock to Colorados far western slope for a variety of reasons and recreation. One of the highlights around the Montrose and Delta region is the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. And to take it all in, there are plenty of campsites to accommodate.
Most of the campgrounds are easily accessible along Highway 50, a stunning drive leading from Grand Junction all the way south to Durango. The South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP is the larger, more developed side, with far more campsites than found opposite on the North Rim.
List of campgrounds by Delta and Montrose, CO, in order of proximity:
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South Rim Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Overview
South Rim Black Canyon of the Gunnison campground has 102 campsites for tents, trailers and RVs. Electric hookups are available in loop B . Each campsite also has a table, fire ring and grate. Sites are usually available even on the busiest weekends.
The campground does take reservations and is open year round. Amenities include drinking water and vault toilets. Although there are no group sites, groups can generally be accommodated at the South Rim Campground.
South Rim Black Canyon of the Gunnison Area Recreation
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rocks, and craggiest spires in North America. The Park offers beautiful scenery, fantastic hiking and camping. Other outdoor activities include rock climbing, river rafting/kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, photography and also wildlife viewing.
The North Rim campground has 13 campsites for tents, trailers and RVs.
- Golden Age & Access Passports accepted
Black Canyon Of The Gunnison Np South Rim Campground
A camping trip to the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park makes for a beautiful getaway for sightseeing, stargazing, and hiking. The park protects the most dramatic section of the Gunnison River Canyon no other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths of Black Canyon.
Campsites are open year round, but drinking water is only available mid-May through mid-October. Electric hookups are in Loop B and available in the summer only.
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Colorado’s Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is one of Colorados hidden gems. It gets overlooked because Colorado has so much to offer, but Black Canyon is well worth the visit! In this post youll learn everything you need to know to enjoy your trip and appreciate this incredible national park.
The canyon itself is 48 miles long, and the national park encompasses an awesome 14 mile stretch of that total length. It gets part of its name, Black Canyon, because the canyon is SO deep and narrow that sunlight only reaches to the bottom when the sun is directly overhead!
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The details you need for planning the trip you want.
Operating Hours: The South Rim is open every day of the year, but during the winter, South Rim Road is only plowed up to the visitor center. The North Rim and East Portal Road are generally open from mid-April to mid-November.
Entrance Fees: $20 for noncommercial vehicles and all occupants $15 for motorcycles $10 per cyclist or pedestrian
Visitor Center: The South Rim visitor center is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Summer hours are generally between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Offseason hours are typically from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Hikes We Like: Paths Of Least Resistance
The thing about canyons is that their rims are often blessedly flat, which translates to easy hiking trails with spectacular panoramas.
Warner Point Nature Trail | South Rim, 1.5 miles round trip
At the terminus of South Rim Road, leave from the ample parking lot at the High Point overlook to find the start of this easy walk along a well-trodden trail. Dont pass up the illustrated walking guide pamphlets as you begin your jaunt, because this undulating path has 14 sites of interest that youll want to read about.Look for: Pinyon junipers the slow-growing, gnarled, ghostly trees thrive at these elevations.
Oak Flat Loop Trail | South Rim, 2 miles round trip
Leaving from the visitor center, the moderate Oak Flat Loop Trail gives the impression youre headed into the canyon. And, if youre looking for a little inner-canyon-esque adventure, the sometimes narrow path and steep traverses will give you a tiny taste of what that might be likewithout all the pain.Look for: An unmarked overlook on the final leg that affords amazing downstream views.
North Vista Trail to Exclamation Point | North Rim, 3 miles round trip
Deadhorse Trail | North Rim, 5 miles round trip
You Can Get To The Bottom Of The Cayon Without Hiking
East Portal Road, which takes you to the bottom of the Black Canyon, drops about 2,000 feet in approximately 5 miles, giving it multiple hairpin turns and steep 16% grades! Because of this, no vehicles over 22 feet are permitted.
At the time we were hauling our old 5th wheel, but were able to leave it behind at the campground and enjoy seeing the river and views from the bottom up before heading on to the nearby Great Sand Dunes National Park.
During a future visit to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, wed camp in the East Portal Campground for part of the visit in order to really enjoy and explore the river.
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Camping Near Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Find A Free Campsite
Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.
Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. Freecampsites.net makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.
This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
Four Seasons River Inn And Rv Park
A quarter-mile of the Gunnison River flows along the frontage of this well kept RV park. Located in Delta, there is easy access to restaurants, shopping, and other amenities. Campers can enjoy the private, well-defined camping sites, providing a sense of privacy while giving access to the amenities of a well-developed campground.
- Closest town: Delta
- Specs: 30 RV sites, 4 tent sites, water, restroom, open year-round
- Amenities: Cable TV, 20/30/50 amp service, propane, showers, laundry, ice, 9 pull-through sites
- Reservations: Yes, at fourseasonriverinn.com
- Address: 676 US Highway 50, Delta, CO 81416
- Directions: From Delta take US Highway 50 West .8 miles. Make a U-turn the RV park will be on the right.
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