Mar 23, 2023 - Things to Do
Black Canyon of the Gunnison is Colorado's most underrated park
Rocky Mountain National Park may be Colorado's crown jewel, but there are plenty of other pristine parks in the state — with way fewer crowds.
Driving the news: Outside magazine recently named the 50 most underrated parks in every state. In Colorado, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park took the prize.
- Located near Montrose in western Colorado, the park is known for boasting some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rocks (~1.8 billion years old), and most rugged spires on the continent. Its name is a nod to the color of its cliffs, which are often darkened by shadows.
- The magazine praises the park for its many accessible overlooks, challenging canyon routes for hikers, and towering cliffs for advanced climbers.
Of note: In 2022, Black Canyon — one of four national parks in the state — saw just 297,000 visitors compared to Rocky Mountain's more than 4.3 million.
😮 My thought bubble: This place took my breath away when I first visited in 2017.
- The jaw-dropping views of the roaring Gunnison River some 2,700 feet below (!) are hard to comprehend — and pictures just don't do it justice.
- There's a reason this spectacular gem is known as the Grand Canyon of Colorado. If it wasn't on your radar before, make sure it is now.
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