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A day exploring Black Canyon of the Gunnison Natl Park

President Hoover designated Black Canyon of the Gunnison as a national monument in 1933; in 1999, an act of Congress signed by President Clinton made the area a national park

President Hoover designated Black Canyon of the Gunnison as a national monument in 1933; in 1999, an act of Congress signed by President Clinton made the area a national park

Behind Lee is the Painted Wall, Colorado's tallest vertical wall at 2300 ft; if the Empire State Bldg stood on the canyon floor it would only reach slightly more than halfway up the cliff

Behind Lee is the Painted Wall, Colorado's tallest vertical wall at 2300 ft; if the Empire State Bldg stood on the canyon floor it would only reach slightly more than halfway up the cliff

The canyon's name owes itself to the fact that parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day; at its narrowest point the canyon is only 40 ft wide at the river

The canyon's name owes itself to the fact that parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day; at its narrowest point the canyon is only 40 ft wide at the river

We walked through the centuries-old juniper and pinon trees but failed to see any noteworthy animals; on the day of our visit, others saw a black bear and a bald eagle while earlier visitors spotted big-horned sheep and a mountain lion

We walked through the centuries-old juniper and pinon trees but failed to see any noteworthy animals; on the day of our visit, others saw a black bear and a bald eagle while earlier visitors spotted big-horned sheep and a mountain lion

The river can also be accessed by steep, unmaintained trails from the north and south rims; all inner canyon descents are strenuous and require Class 3 climbing and basic route finding skills (we didn't even try!)

The river can also be accessed by steep, unmaintained trails from the north and south rims; all inner canyon descents are strenuous and require Class 3 climbing and basic route finding skills (we didn't even try!)

We drove down East Portal Road which is the only way to access the river by car from the park; the curvy road takes you down 2000 ft in just 5 miles

We drove down East Portal Road which is the only way to access the river by car from the park; the curvy road takes you down 2000 ft in just 5 miles

In 1909, President Taft dedicated the Gunnison Tunnel, a 5.8 mile irrigation tunnel costing nearly $3 million; at the time, the Gunnison Tunnel held the honor of world's longest irrigation tunnel

In 1909, President Taft dedicated the Gunnison Tunnel, a 5.8 mile irrigation tunnel costing nearly $3 million; at the time, the Gunnison Tunnel held the honor of world's longest irrigation tunnel

The west side of the Rockies is considerably drier than the east side; hay and corn are being grown near Montrose thanks to irrigation

The west side of the Rockies is considerably drier than the east side; hay and corn are being grown near Montrose thanks to irrigation

No bridge spans Black Canyon so to drive from one rim to the other takes 2-3 hours; the South Rim is much more visited due to its proximity to the city of Montrose

No bridge spans Black Canyon so to drive from one rim to the other takes 2-3 hours; the South Rim is much more visited due to its proximity to the city of Montrose

Posted by VagabondCowboy 14:45

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