Best Outdoor Destinations in Colorado by Mile Hi Rafting

Mile Hi Rafting is all about adventure.  We provide adventure professionally, with white water rafting, ATV and UTV tours, along with camping excursions.  In this outdoor series, we give you Colorado’s greatest adventure spots.  Today’s destination is one of Colorado’s hidden treasures, Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  This awe-inspiring plunging canyon with a 2,700 foot drop provides a scenic experience to all visitors.

Tomichi Point at Black Canyon
Credit: NPS/Lisa Lynch National Parks Service
Inner Canyon
Credit: NPS/Lisa Lynch
National Parks Service

History of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The black canyon of the Gunnison is a memorable vacation for any visitor.  Without the tainted touch of tourism to mar the scenery, visitors get a panoramic view of raw beauty.  The solid granite walls carved over hundreds of years plummet to the Gunnison River below.  Originally designated as a national monument in 1933, was renamed a national park in 1999, placing it in the same category as Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.  The most distinguishing feature of the Black Canyon is the narrow depth, which results in limited sun’s rays reaching the floor each day.  This dramatic lighting on the rock face shows striking colors  of lighter pink and dark browns from minerals in the dark volcanic rock.

Things To Do at Black Canyon

great view

In the summer, there are many options for adventurers.  The Canyon offers world class fishing, hiking, nature walks, camping, wildlife viewing, rock climbing and even rafting and kayaking.  The water sports are only suitable for the most experienced kayakers and white water rafting experts due to the class of rapids and number of impassable water thoroughfares.  For hiking, there are no maintained or marked trails.  Routes are difficult to follow, and difficult in hiking as well.  The easiest route, The Gunnison Trail, is extremely steep, rocky and strenuous.  All hikers should be prepared for self-rescue, and are expected to be fully capable and responsible in finding their own way.  Pets are not aloud in the wilderness.  In winter, the north entrance is closed.  However, this does not hinder fun to be had in the canyon.  A whole new set of activities opens up with snow season.  Cross country skiing, snow-shoeing, and even back country camping are a few of the attractions for the adventurous.  Winter hikers need to be prepared with snowshoes, crampons, an ice axe, and a rope.  The South Rim routes are generally covered in snow from November to April.  Water is not available in winter months, so bring your own!  Whether in summer or winter, the canyon offers awe-inspiring views and an adventure to remember!

Join Mile Hi on Camping Excursion to Prepare for Black Canyon!


Come join Mile Hi Rafting’s overnight camping excursion in preparation for a trek out to Black Canyon!  We offer tent camping for the person that wants a total mountain adventure, only minutes from Denver.  We have a variety of tent sites along Clear Creek, as well as forested areas.  We have trips for any ability and adventure level.  Our pricing and location make it ideal for day trips and vacations.  Kids are always welcome on any of our trips!  We pride ourselves in being flexible and will help you arrange any combination of options to create your own experience.  Call us today to create your dream camping vacation!Girls on vacation camping with tents listening girl playing guit

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