Black Canyon of the Gunnison - Western National Parks Association

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

National Park


Black Canyon of the Gunnison feels overwhelming, but still intimate. Experience some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. In more than two million years, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky.

Discover More About Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Learn more about the stunning landscapes and unique cultural heritage of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, featuring steep cliffsides, awe-inspiring birds of prey, and many other natural wonders that make this park one of the most geologically spectacular places in America. The Gunnison River, named after Captain John Gunnison, has sculpted the rocks of the canyon for more than 2 million years. Standing taller than the Eiffel Tower, or the Great Pyramids, or the Empire State Building, the Painted Wall is the highest cliff in Colorado, at 2,250 feet, part of the monumental canyon landscape that both overwhelms and inspires. Ute Indians, the first people to live in this area, avoided the dangerous canyon’s gorge for thousands of years, exploring and making their homes in the canyon’s rims only. This thrilling and beautiful park is now a place where all people can experience our living history.

Since our founding in 1938

WNPA has provided more than

$136 million

in aid to our partner parks to fund educational programs, initiatives, and scientific research

Kids in Parks

National parks are places where kids can dream up great adventures! Taking in amazing scenery. Testing out new skills. Exploring places kids may have only heard about. But most importantly, creating new memories with friends and family.

Our public lands are our public commons. They belong to all of us as part of our natural and cultural heritage. They remind us of a larger world that has existed long before the arrival of humans and will survive long after we are gone.

Terry Tempest Williams Author & Conservationist
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Bring the Parks Home

When you can’t get to a national park for a visit, experience it from the comfort of your home. WNPA’s online store is packed with ranger-approved park collectibles, books, toys, and clothing. Shop for a special item.