North Vista Trail Hiking

West of Gunnison and east of Montrose, the Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is an amazing gorge formed by erosive action of the Gunnison River through hard Proterozoic crystalline rock. No other canyon in North America combines such a narrow opening with sheer walls and startling depths (the sun only reaches parts of the canyon floor at noon). Ther are many marked rim hiking trails, but the inner canyon routes are unmarked and physically challenging.

A great hike is along the North Vista Trail on the North Rim through pinyon pine and juniper woodlands. There are great red rock vistas. The route ascends Green Mountain for awe-inspiring panoramic vistas of the canyon. The trail starts from the North Rim Ranger Station.

Another scenic trail is the Deadhorse Trail which starts from the Kneeling Camel View area.

To reach the North Rim from Crawford, head south on North Rim Road to the North Rim Ranger Station parking area.

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison NP (CO/US)

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison NP (CO/US)


Local Contact(s):  BCNP (970) 249-1914 or (970) 641-2337; Gunnison Visitors (800) 274-7580; CO Visitors (800) COLORADO.

Recommended Book:  "100 Classic Hikes Colorado" from Scott Warren

Best Season:  May - Sep.

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  North Rim Campground

Breakfast Restaurant:  Steaming Bean; W Cafe, Gunnison

Date Published:  

Date Updated:  6/27/2016


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For hiking the North Vista Trail in Colorado, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.