Black Canyon of the Gunnison


River From Chasm View

South Rim

A geological upheaval raised the ancient volcanic rock we see in these galleries into the path of the river. Though the stone was extremely hard, the river over millions of years carved downward through it.In a place like the Grand Canyon, soft sandstone being eroded produced wide canyons. Here, the hardness of the stone resulted in vertical canyons.

The main entrance is on the South Rim. Driving along the paved road along the rim offers a number of spectacular overlooks where we can see the rapids so far below that we must look closely to realize they are raging along, not stationary.

A Shaping of a Canyon, the Sign Shaping Of a Canyon Sign Detail Chasm View Deep And Narrow Canyon
Dragon Point View Kneeling Camel At Noon Pegmatite Dikes Sign Pegmatite Dikes Sign Detail
Painted Wall River And Canyon In Full Sun River Gleams In Canyon Painted Wall And River

West Portal Road

Near the South Rim entrance to the park, a side road called West Portal road winds steeply down to the river. It is beautiful, especially when the aspens are in their Fall colors. Fishermen drive down and wade out into the river. The area is very quiet unless one is next to the single small waterfall. Above us, the high cliffs of the canyon tower, and the silence is pervasive and calming.

River To Dam And Canyon West Portal Road West Portal Road West Portal Road
River Seen From West Portal Road River To Dam And Canyon 2 Fishermen In The River River Aspens And Stone Towers
River Mountains And Aspen River To Dam And Canyon Dam At West Portal


Driving Down West Portal Road


Driving Along River ~ West Portal


Fishermen In River


Small Dam And River


Hillsides Covered With Aspens


Returning Along River at West Portal


Driving Up West Portal Road

North Rim

From the nearby town of Montrose, it is only thirteen miles to the South Rim entrance. To access the North Rim, however, we must drive for an hour and a half around the entire perimeter of the park, in part on dirt roads. The North Rim is therefore visited by far fewer travelers. That is a bonus for those of us who go there, because the views from the North Rim overlooks are spectacular!

Deep Canyon Sign

Deep Canyon Sign Up Close

ChasmFrom Exclamation Point

Gunnison At Many Peaks Kneeling Camel In Foreground

Gunnison To East From Many Peaks Kneeling Camel And Distant Valley The Gunnison From Many Peaks View Of River From Exclamation Point
Looking Across At Visitor Center The Narrows From The East


Grand Sweep of the Gunnison From Above


View Down on River Looking East


Looking East From Many Peaks


Rapids Below Kneeling Camel


River Below From Exclamation Point


Looking Down From Exclamation Point


Calm River Far Below


River Below Kneeling Camel

Needle Rock near Crawford

When we drive to the North Rim, we pass through the small farming community of Crawford. Just outside the town is an impressive rock formation known as Needle Rock. Needle rock is a splendid example of hard volcanic rock intruding as lava through cracks in softer sedimentary rock—after which the softer rock is gradually eroded away.

Needle Rock From Near by Road Needle Rock From Road Needle Rock Up Close Aspens On Mountain Near Needle Rock
Mountains And Farmland Near Crawford Mountains South Of Crawford Needle Rock And Cows


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