For information on both the national park and the adjacent Curecanti National Recreation Area, contact Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, 102 Elk Creek, Gunnison, CO 81230 (tel. 970/641-2337; www.nps.gov/blca). A bookstore at the South Rim Visitor Center, operated by the Western National Parks Association, offers a variety of publications, including the very useful South Rim Driving Tour Guide, published by the association.
For information on other area attractions, lodging, and dining, contact the Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism, 1519 E. Main St., Montrose, CO 81401 (tel. 800/873-0244; www.visitmontrose.net), or stop at the Montrose Visitor Center, operated by the chamber of commerce, at the same address. Information on federal lands in the area, including those under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, is available at the Public Lands Center, 2505 S. Townsend Ave. (tel. 970/240-5300), open weekdays year-round.
The park's South Rim Visitor Center is open daily in summer and most days the rest of the year, except New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Summer hours are 8am to 6pm, and hours the rest of the year are 8:30am to 4pm. The North Rim Ranger Station is open intermittently in summer but closed at other times; a self-registration board is available at the North Rim to pay entrance fees and obtain wilderness permits.
Fees & Permits
Admission for up to 7 days costs $15 per vehicle or $7 per person 17 or older on foot, bike, or motorcycle. Those under 17 are admitted free. Camping costs $12 per night for basic sites and $18 for sites with electric hookups. Required backcountry permits are free.
Special Regulations & Warnings
Visitors are warned to not throw anything from the rim into the canyon, since even a single small stone thrown or kicked from the rim could be fatal to people below. Visitors are also advised to supervise children very carefully -- many sections of the rim have no guardrails or fences.
Unlike at most national parks, leashed pets are permitted on three trails -- Rim Rock, Cedar Point, and Chasm View -- but are prohibited on others and are not permitted in the inner canyon or wilderness areas.
Those hiking down to the bottom of the Black Canyon are advised to watch out for poison ivy, which can grow to 5 feet tall along the Gunnison River.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.