Come face-to-face with awe-inspiring natural sights in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure, look no further! RV camping in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is the perfect opportunity to explore the Colorado wilderness.
Traversing the rocky landscape at Black Canyon is a one-of-a-kind experience you will never forget. Get ready for your spectacular trip with this ultimate Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park RV camping guide!
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Facts
The dramatic landscape at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has inspired countless generations of visitors. Take a tour through the park’s history with these Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park facts!
The park was originally established as a national monument in 1933. In 1999, Black Canyon was officially redesignated as a national park.
Evidence shows that the Ute Indians lived in the area around Black Canyon for thousands of years. The canyon’s rims, not its gorge, are the only areas that show signs of human habitation by the Ute Indians.
The park’s name comes from the extreme steepness of Black Canyon. This steepness makes it difficult for sunlight to reach the depths of the canyon. As a result, the canyon appears black because it is usually shrouded in shadows.
Most of the rocks throughout Black Canyon are from the Precambrian era, which is the earliest part of the Earth’s history. This means that the rocks in the park are more than 500 million years old!
Black Canyon is home to a wide range of animal and plant species. Some noteworthy plants and animals include the park’s mule deer, peregrine falcon, Gambel oak and Utah juniper tree.
The Painted Wall is Colorado’s highest cliff. It stands at 2,250 feet, towering over many famous man-made structures like the Tokyo Sky Tree in Japan.
Best Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
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There’s no doubt that RV camping in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is the best way to experience the area! Check out this list of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park RV sites to find your dream location.
Black Canyon RV Park and Campground
Amenities: One of the best RV parks near Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is the Black Canyon RV Park. This campground offers spacious RV sites surrounded by the splendor of Colorado’s natural landscape. Black Canyon RV Park’s central location makes it easy for visitors to travel to the nearby national park. Amenities at this park include full hook-ups RV sites, free WiFi, charcoal grills and picnic tables.
Capacity: The park offers a variety of RV spaces that are available on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
More information: Black Canyon RV Park and Campground
South Rim Campground
Amenities: The South Rim Campground is one of the RV campgrounds in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This campground is close to the park’s South Rim Visitor Center and amphitheater, which features ranger programs in the summer. The amenities of this park include electric hook-ups in Loop B, picnic areas and campfire rings.
Capacity: The park has 57 RV sites.
More information: South Rim Campground
Montrose/Black Canyon KOA
Amenities: The Montrose/Black Canyon KOA campground is a peaceful campground located near downtown Montrose. After exploring Black Canyon, unwind with a round of golf. Or if you’ve brought your furry friend along, give the camp’s dog park a visit! Other park amenities include 50 max amp hook-ups and a pool and pavilion, open to all guests.
Capacity: The park has 71 RV campsites.
More information: Montrose/Black Canyon KOA
Cedar Creek RV Park
Amenities: Connect with your inner tranquility when RV camping near Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park at Cedar Creek. The park’s breathtaking surroundings provide visitors with an exceptional mountain camping experience. Campers can enjoy their time at one of the shaded patios or playing on the complimentary old-fashioned mini-golf course. Amenities of Cedar Creek include full hook-ups at many RV sites, an on-site laundromat and an RV dump station.
Capacity: There are 45 RV sites at the park.
More information: Cedar Creek RV Park
Montrose-San Juan RV Resort
Amenities: One of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National RV Parks to check out is Montrose-San Juan RV Resort. This campground is big-rig, pet and family-friendly. Each campsite comes with amenities such as campfire rings, picnic tables and free WiFi.
Capacity: The park has 140 RV sites.
More information: Montrose-San Juan RV Resort
Best Time to Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for RV Camping
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If you’re eager to explore the vertical magnificence that is Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, you’re in good company—thousands of visitors flock to Black Canyon every year!
Each season brings unique changes to the landscape of Black Canyon and offers different activities to enjoy. Let’s explore the seasons below!
Snow falls in the canyon during the winter months with highs, ranging from 36 to 44 degrees from December through February. Along with snowflakes, winter brings free entrance to the park. Woo-hoo! The South Rim Road is open, but only up to the visitor center.
Park rangers offer guided snowshoe hikes, and there are many opportunities for sledding and cross country skiing. Both roads leading to the East Portal and North Rim are closed in the winter due to snowfall. This means that the only way to access them is via hiking. If you’re up for the wintertime trek, you’ll have breathtaking views and solitude along the North Rim trails.
In mid-April, the Black Canyon pulses with new life. Highs in April average in the low 60s along the rim of the canyon. Things warm up into the mid-70s by May. East Portal Road and North Rim Road open once again to the public. This means you can drive down to Gunnison River and gaze upwards in awe of the steep canyon walls on either side.
Park rangers recommend visiting Black Canyon in the spring if you’re looking to steer clear of crowds. There are many opportunities to explore the park, from guided geology tours to hikes along the canyon. Spring is also the optimal time for wildlife watching. Keep an eye out for mule deer, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and more.
Explore Black Canyon in all its glory during the summer. May, June and July bring temperatures ranging from the low to high 80s. Foliage takes on a light green hue that shines in the sun. Trails across the park are open, including guided tours and scenic hikes along the North and South Rim.
Pleasant temperatures and full access to the park make summer the best time to visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Summer is the only time to take a Morrow Point Boat Tour. The informative and leisurely tour runs from June to mid-September, depending on water levels.
Orange, reds and yellows burst onto the scene as fall sets in at Black Canyon. Fall is another great time to visit the park to avoid crowds. Plus, the vibrant hues make for beautiful hikes and photo opportunities.
Temperatures begin to cool off in late September with highs in the high 60s. October and November highs dip into the mid-60s and low 50s. Sky viewing opportunities abound with ranger-led astrology tours. So wear warm clothing, bring your camera and experience the charm of Black Canyon in the fall.
Things to Do in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a playground for nature lovers, animal watchers, outdoor experts and everyone in between! Whether you want to plan out your entire trip or just go with the flow, these activities are sure to be a fun addition to your adventure.
Here are four enjoyable things to do in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park:
Whip out those binoculars, folks. Black Canyon is a great place for birdwatching. Did you know that the fastest bird in the world—the Peregrine Falcon— soars around Black Canyon? You can also spot vibrant blue grouses and singing canyon wrens. Spring and early summer provide the best times to view these feathered friends, but it is possible to spot them during other seasons.
The inner canyon attracts expert climbers, hikers and kayakers looking for a challenge in the wilderness. But you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy the upper levels of the canyon. Explore trails for hikers of all levels in Black Canyon. Hike Chasm View Nature Trail along the North Rim for vistas of Painted Wall from 1,800 ft above the river. Cedar Point Nature Trail offers an easy trek with gorgeous views of the water below on the South Rim.
The waters of Gunnison River are open for fishing. Fishers will be pleased to know that the Gunnison River area is designated as Gold Medal Water “because they provide outstanding angling opportunities for large trout.” If you’re hoping to bag a large trout, Gunnison River is the place to be. The National Park Service encourages anglers to have a great time while abiding by fishing guidelines. So make sure you have a Colorado fishing license before heading out to throw a line!
It’s not just the cascading depths of the canyon that will take your breath away. The night skies hold starry treasures for visitors. Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a certified International Dark Sky Park. In other words, it is a prime place to view the galaxy above. Since the park does not close at night, you’ll have free reign to take in the canopy of stars overhead. You can also participate in an astronomy ranger program to learn more about the constellations and planets you see.
Tips on Visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
This guide to RV camping in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park would not be complete without helpful travel tips. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled the must-know information below. For a safe and well-planned trip, take note of the advice below!
The North Rim is worth the drive. All the canyons' views bring a sense of awe and wonder, but the views at the North Rim are even more dramatic. Plus, you can take in the views without the crowds often present at the South Rim. Because the North Rim is farther away, many don’t make the drive. This results in a relatively empty North Rim area.
Prepare for no cell service. The canyon's soaring walls may take your breath away, but they’ll also take away your 5G! The National Park Service makes it clear that there is no cell service in the park. Even if you can find a few bars, there is no guarantee that it will last or that you’ll reach others in the park. Be sure to stay with your group, and don’t rely on your phone for maps once you’re in the park.
Bear-proof your campsite. Black Canyon is home to an array of wildlife, including black bears. It is unlikely that you’ll come across a bear during your stay. But you can do your part to decrease those chances by locking up food and disposing of any leftovers. The park offers lockers for safe food storage overnight.
There you have it—a few quick tips on visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
RV Rental for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
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After a jam-packed day of trail hiking and wildlife watching, you’ll need a cozy place to refresh and recharge. Why not relax in your RV rental for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park?
You don’t have to sacrifice comfort to pursue adventure. Have both with Cruise America RV rentals. Your RV will take you along scenic routes and allow you to have the comforts of home with you, no matter what rim you decide to visit.
Cruise America RV rentals include A/C, heat, a microwave, a refrigerator, shower and more. Your RV rental for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has what you need for an awesome trip. Check out Cruise America RV rental locations and set off for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park!