Black Canyn of the Gunnison National Park Trails
Almost twice as deep as it is wide, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is the deepest narrow canyon in America. At its narrowest juncture, the rims stand but 1,300 feet apart while the canyon plunges to depths as great as 2,400 feet. The view has caused many stomachs to churn as tourists lean out from overlooks to gain a glimpse of the glimmering ribbon of river at the gorge’s bottom. Congress recognized the significance of the Gunnison’s magnificent canyon and designated the area a national monument in 1933. The Black Canyon’s secret lies in the extremely strong, resistant Precambrian gneiss that forms the canyon’s walls. This 2-billion-year-old gneiss, similar to that found in the Grand Canyon’s Inner Gorge, once formed the core of the continent. The crazy-quilt swirls and waves that characterize the gneiss are the result of incredible pressures and temperatures to which the parent rock was subjected while the earth was still in its infancy. Millions of years later, but still more than 1.3 billion years ago, molten rock squirted into cracks and fissures under tremendous pressure, eventually cooling into stripes of pink granite and gray pegmatite dikes. This trail guide includes descriptions of Warner Point Nature Trail, North Vista Trail, South Rim Routes, and North Rim routes.
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Directions to: Black Canyn of the Gunnison National Park Trailsprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Skill Level||Easy to Extremely Strenuous|
|Season||Best Spring through Fall|
|Trailhead Elevation||5,400 ft|
|Top Elevation||8,300 ft|
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