by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

National Park - Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is in western Colorado. It surrounds part of a deep, steep-walled gorge carved through Precambrian rock by the Gunnison River. Roads and trails along the north and south rims have views of the Black Canyon's dramatic drops and the striated Painted Wall cliff. The winding East Portal Road descends to the river. Wildlife includes mule deer, elk and golden eagles.

maps

Official visitor map of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Black Canyon of the Gunnison - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/blca https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Canyon_of_the_Gunnison_National_Park Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is in western Colorado. It surrounds part of a deep, steep-walled gorge carved through Precambrian rock by the Gunnison River. Roads and trails along the north and south rims have views of the Black Canyon's dramatic drops and the striated Painted Wall cliff. The winding East Portal Road descends to the river. Wildlife includes mule deer, elk and golden eagles. Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky. 7 miles north on CO Highway 347 from the intersection with U.S. Highway 50 east of Montrose. Physical/GPS address is - 9800 Hwy 347, Montrose, CO 81401 South Rim Visitor Center South Rim Visitor Center and the Western National Park Association Bookstore are open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. 2021 Hours Summer (May 28 - Sep 6) . . 8 am - 6 pm Spring/Fall (April 25 - May 7, Sep 7 - Oct 23) . . 8 am - 5 pm Winter (Oct 24 - late April) . . 9 am - 4 pm Water is NOT available during cold months. Please come prepared. East Portal Campground The East Portal Campground is located within Curecanti National Recreation Area, but is adjacent to and only accessible from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, where the entrance fee is $30. The campground is located at the bottom of the canyon, along the Gunnison River. It is a small campground shaded by box elder trees. East Portal is closed in winter, when the Bureau of Reclamation closes the East Portal Road. Elevation: 6526 feet East Portal Campground 16.00 $16.00 per night ($8.00 per night with Interagency Senior/Access Pass) East Portal Campground - Sites with vehicle access East Portal Campground - Sites with vehicle access Five out of the fifteen sites have vehicle access. East Portal Campground - Walk-in sites East Portal Campground - Walk-in sites Ten of the 15 sites are walk-in tent sites. North Rim Campground The North Rim campground is remote and has just 13 sites. It is first-come, first-served all season. The last 7 miles of the North Rim Road and the campground road are unpaved. Services are limited. The campground is small, but the sites are spacious and spread out among pinyon and juniper trees. This campground fills quickly during the summer, especially on weekends. Maximum combined length of RV, car and/or trailer is 22 feet. Standard Camping Fee 16.00 The nightly camping fee at the North Rim is $16.00. Group size limit is eight people and two vehicles. When water is turned off in the campground (spring and fall), the nightly camping fee is $8.00. Senior / Access Camping Fee 8.00 Discounted camping rate for valid Senior or Access passes. The nightly camping fee with valid passes is $8.00. Group size limit is eight people and two vehicles. When water is turned off in the campground (spring and fall), camping fees are half price. South Rim Campground The South Rim Campground is located one mile from the South Rim Visitor Center. Reservations may be made on recreation.gov for mid May to mid September, and it is first-come, first served after that. Sites are fairly close together, and are partially shaded by Gambel Oak and Serviceberry bushes. Only Loop B offers 20, 30, and 50 amp electric hookups. Water is shut off during the cold months. Special restrictions are in place in summer months to prevent deer/dog conflicts. Please see Regulations tab below. Loop A Standard Camping Fee 16.00 The nightly camping fee for Loop A at the South Rim is $16.00. There is an $3 fee for reservations. Group size limit is eight people and two vehicles. When water is turned off in the campground (spring and fall), camping fees are not charged. Loop A Senior / Access Camping Fee 8.00 Discounted camping rate for valid Senior or Access passes. The nightly camping fee with valid passes is $8.00. There is an $3 fee for reservations. Group size limit is eight people and two vehicles. When water is turned off in the campground (spring and fall), camping fees are not charged. Loop B Standard Camping Fee 22.00 The nightly camping fee for Loop B (RV sites with electricity) at the South Rim is $22.00. There is an $3 fee for reservations. Group size limit is eight people and two vehicles. When water is turned off in the campground (spring and fall), camping fees are not charged. Loop B Senior / Access Camping Fee 14.00 Discounted camping rate for valid Senior or Access passes. The nightly camping fee with valid passes is $14.00. There is an $3 fee for reservations. Group size limit is eight people and two vehicles. When water and electricity are turned off in the campground (spring and fall), camping fees are not charged. Loop C Standard Camping Fee 16.00 The nightly camping fee for Loop C at the South Rim is $16.00. Group size limit is eight people and two vehicles. When water is turned off in the campground (spring and fall), camping fees are not charged. Loop C Senior / Access Camping Fee 8.00 Discounted camping rate for valid Senior or Access passes. The nightly camping fee with valid passes is $8.00. Group size limit is eight people and two vehicles. When water is turned off in the campground (spring and fall), camping fees are not charged. Typical Tent Site picnic table and fire pit in a grassy clearing among the brush Loop A and C are mainly intended for tents. This is what a typical tent site looks like. Black Canyon near Tomichi Point Black Canyon near Tomichi Point Black Canyon near Tomichi Point Black Canyon near Painted Wall Black Canyon near Painted Wall Black Canyon near Painted Wall Landbird Monitoring in Northern Colorado Plateau Network Parks, 2018 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2018. Small, bright-orange bird with yellowish underfeathers. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park, Colorado Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. steep narrow canyon and river Traits, Tradeoffs, and Pivot Points: How Climate, Plant, and Soil Properties Affect Vegetation Growth on the Northern Colorado Plateau As the northern Colorado Plateau heads into a hotter, drier future, there will be ecological winners and losers. Figuring out how different vegetation communities will fare is tricky. A recent study aimed to identify which vegetation communities might come out ahead, which might lag behind, and what might make the difference. Desert grassland in red rock setting. Pink wildflowers grow in foreground as storm brews in the sky. Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. Park Air Profiles - Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Air quality profile for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP. Juniper tree and Painted Wall in Black Canyon Wildland Fire in Ponderosa Pine: Western United States This forest community generally exists in areas with annual rainfall of 25 inches or less. Extensive pure stands of this forest type are found in the southwestern U.S., central Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Recently burned ponderosa pine forest. Herbert Hoover's National Parks Herbert Hoover is not thought of as one of our better presidents, but he made lasting contributions in the national parks he established. During Herbert Hoover's presidency from 1929 to 1933, the land designated for new national parks and monuments increased by 40 percent. Sepia photo of Herbert Hoover standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon. What We’re Learning and Why it Matters: Long-Term Monitoring on the Northern Colorado Plateau Knowing which key natural resources are found in the national parks, and whether they're stable or changing, helps decisionmakers make sound choices. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network is building that knowledge. After more than ten years of monitoring, we've learned a lot about park ecosystems, how they're changing, and what they may look like in the days to come. Find out what we’ve learned and how it’s being used to help managers plan for the future. Man stands in a stream, looking down at a handheld gauge. Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2019 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2019. Bald eagle Water Quality in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network: Water Years 2016–2018 Once a month, ecologists collect water samples at dozens of monitoring sites in and near ten National Park Service units across Utah and Colorado. This consistent, long-term monitoring helps alert managers to existing and potential problems. Find out the results for 2016-2018 in this brief from the Northern Colorado Plateau Network. A monitoring crew of three samples a clear river flowing over brown rock and sand Water Quality Trends in Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP and Curecanti NRA, 2001–2014 “Is it safe to go in the water?” It’s a pretty basic question—and a really important one. In Curecanti National Recreation Area and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, the Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with park managers to find the answer. A report examined long-term trends in water quality at both parks from 2001 to 2014--and the news was mostly good. Blue reservoir with ice Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Connie Rudd: Defining a Career Path Connie Rudd's career with the National Park Service began as a seasonal ranger in 1979. Her continual desire to learn propelled her to various sites and positions in interpretation, planning, and management until 2014, when she retired as Park Superintendent. In this Spotlight article, Rudd reflects on her career path, changes in interpretation, and being in upper management as a woman. Part of "Women’s Voices: Women in the National Park Service Oral History Project." Connie Rudd smiles for a portrait in an outdoor setting, wearing a NPS uniform and flathat Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2020 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2020. Small beige bird with black beak and feet, brown back. Monitoring From Space: Using Satellite Imagery to Measure Landscape Conditions on the Ground Scientists from the Northern Colorado Plateau Network travel thousands of miles each year to collect data on plants, soils, and water across network parks. But it would be impossible to cover every square inch of the Northern Colorado Plateau with boots on the ground. Instead, we simultaneously monitor the parks with boots in space—satellite data that provide information at a much broader scale. Satellite and Earth in space Localized Drought Impacts on Northern Colorado Plateau Landbirds Birds of the desert southwest, a climate-change hotspot, are among the most vulnerable groups in the US. To help park managers plan for those changes, scientists evaluated the influence of water deficit on landbird communities at 11 national parks in Utah and Colorado. The results will help land managers to focus conservation efforts on places where certain species are most vulnerable to projected climate changes. A man wearing a clipboard looks through binoculars at dawn in field of sagebrush

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