Know before you go: Expect weekday delays along US 50 between Montrose and Gunnison during the summer of 2022. For information on this project and opening windows for travel, visit

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Hiking at the Black Canyon

Hiking is a great way to experience the Black Canyon at its best. Unique perspectives of the canyon, enhanced widlife viewing and solitude await those willing venture out on foot. Hikes can range from short, easy treks to rugged overnight excursions that will test your mettle. 

Hikes along the Canyon Rim

In addition to numerous short hikes to lookouts along the north and south rims, there seven designated nature hikes (four on the South Rim and three on the North Rim) ranging in round-trip distance from .3 to 7 miles. These trails present special opportunities to view wildlife, wild flowers and, of course, the canyon itself. A Walking Guide for the Warner Point Nature Trail is a great resource for learning about the geology, ecology and history of the Black Canyon as you hike along the trail. 


Inner Canyon Hikes

There are three trails that lead from the South Rim to the bottom of the Black Canyon – Warner Route, Gunnison Route and Tomichi Route. Each of these trails presents a challenging hike - the Tomichi Route being the most difficult and the Warner Route the longest. Free wilderness use permits are required for all backcountry and wilderness use (both day use and overnight) including hiking the innercanyon or off established trails, rock climbing and all river use. Use permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

A fourth route to the canyon floor, the Red Rock Canyon Route, can accessed from Bostwick Park. Access to this route is by permit only. 

If a steep descent into the canyon (and a strenuous hike out) is more than you want to tackle, the Devil's Backbone and North River Routes are accessible from the East Portal Road and provide access along the bottom of the canyon alongside the Gunnison River. 

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