Black Canyon, White Winter, Mountains of Fun

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Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park this winter for an enchanted experience.

Montrose, Colo., is the gateway to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, one of the most unique and beautiful places in the country. During the winter, the park is incredibly quite and tranquil, giving winter visitors a truly enchanted experience.

Cross-country skiing: South Rim Drive is unplowed during the winter, creating a wonderful cross-country ski trail. The road is six miles long each way, and allows access to the amazing overlooks into the canyon. Visitors can park at the south rim visitor center, located at the Gunnison Point Overlook.

Cross-country ski tour: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park rangers will lead a moonlight cross-country tour along the south rim on Sat., Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. Participants should bring their own equipment, including skis, poles, warm clothes and a portable light. Afterwards, the park will offer participants hot chocolate, tea and coffee at the south rim visitor center.

Snowshoeing: Popular routes include the upper part of the Oak Flat Loop and Rim Rock Trail. The park also encourages snowshoeing on any part of the canyon’s rim (going into the inner canyon is not recommended). Snowshoers are asked to show courtesy to other trail users by avoiding walking in the snow tracks already established along the South Rim Drive. Also, to protect the area wildlife, pets are not allowed along the South Rim Drive in the winter.

Snowshoe tours: Park rangers offer free guided snowshoe tours Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. through March 7. Participants need no special skills for these tours, which take place along the rim of the canyon. Snowshoes for adults as well as children are available for loan free of charge at the visitor’s center.

To reserve a spot for one of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park guided tours, call 970-249-1914, ext. 423.

About Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, located in western Colorado, features a canyon so deep, sheer and narrow that very little sunlight reaches the canyon floor. Activities in the park include fishing, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, nature walks and camping in the summer, and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and backcountry camping in the winter.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located 250 miles southwest of Denver. The south rim is 15 miles east of Montrose, Colo., and the north rim is 11 miles south of Crawford, Colo. Black Canyon was proclaimed a national monument in 1933, and was designated a national park in 1999.

About Montrose (
Montrose, located in southwest Colorado, is a uniquely authentic town that has carved out a place for itself in the landscape and culture of Colorado. A multi-faceted town, Montrose serves up layer upon layer of discoveries, each more unique than the last. Whether you are looking for adventure, agritourism, history, culture, shopping, fine dining or anything in between, Montrose has a little something for everyone.


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