North Rim: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park


After getting up early and watching the sunrise on the south rim of the Black Canyon we packed up and headed the two hours to the north rim. This route took us through Montrose before heading north then back east. The last 6 or 7 miles of the road are gravel. There are several overlooks on the north rim but we unfortunately did not have time to view them all. The day before we had spoken to the park rangers and they suggest, if you have a limited amount to hike Exclamation Point. They did not lead us wrong with this advice the view was worth it.

This is a fairly quick out and back trail as it is 1.5 miles each way. The trail does go farther than Exclamation Point to Green Mountain (3.5 miles one way) but due to time constraints we decided not to hike the additional portion of the trail. This is a fairly easy hike and it is fairly popular. We saw a couple dozen people all told round trip – including the park rangers for the north rim.

North Rim Tips:

  • The ranger station is not always open.
  • Make sure to carry water, it gets hot.
  • Dogs are not allowed on the trails but they are allowed at some overlooks.
    • There are signs at all overlooks and trails with this information.
  • There is no cell service, make sure to tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back.
  • There are no guardrails at the overlook at Exclamation Point or at other points on the trail, be careful as it is a long ways down.

Over all this was a wonderful, if warm, hike. I would love to hike the other trails on the north rim sometime and perhaps down into the canyon. You can rock climb down into the canyon but that does require a Wilderness Use Permit. Catch a glimpse down into the canyon from the north rim in my video below. Have you ever visited the Black Canyon of the Gunnison? If yes, what did you think? Let me know in the comments. Remember to leave no trace and safe travels.

Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!

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