Sunset at Black Canyon

Black Canyon of the Gunnison at Sunset

The South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is lined with overlooks. Some of the overlooks require short hikes to get to, while others are located right off the road. All of the overlooks offer a different view of the magnificent canyon, and all are worth visiting.

My personal favorite spot along the south rim is the “Sunset View” at, you guessed it, sunset. My wife and I saved Sunset View for last as we toured the south rim on a quiet afternoon at the national park. We arrived at Sunset View just as the sun was beginning to descend behind the canyon.

We cooked and ate dinner shortly after the sun disappeared. Sitting there in the dark, just the two of us, we really came to appreciate how magnificent the Black Canyon is. In the darkness we weren’t able to see the steep canyon walls, but we were able to feel them. In terms of places to see a sunset or to sit outside after dark, few compare to the south rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Moderator’s Note:

Sunset View is on the west end of the South Rim and looks out over the Park Wilderness Area down the Gunnison River.  If you look closely at the picture above you can just make out the slight reflection of light off the Gunnison River below.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located approximately 250 miles southwest of Denver in Colorado.

Access to South Rim: 15 miles east of Montrose, via U.S. Highway 50 and CO Highway 347

Access to North Rim: 11 miles south of Crawford, via CO Highway 92 and North Rim Road (unpaved)

There is no bridge between the north and south rims of the canyon.  Allow two to three hours to drive from one side to the other via Hwy 92 at Blue Mesa Reservoir.  The North Rim Road is closed in Winter and remains inaccessible until Spring thaw.

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