Most of us get to hear about the Grand Canyon mainly when it comes to jaw-dropping canyons. My recent travel to Colorado introduced me to another canyon which isn’t as famous, yet makes you feel timid with its gaping depth.
After exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park, we began our road trip towards the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. As much as I like canyons, I am equally petrified of the depth of those cliffs. It’s one thing to see mountains, but a wide gap beneath intimidates me.
Still I found the whole experience surreal in a way and admired the resilience of rivers to create such steep cliffs. From the overlooks on the rim, the walls of Black Canyon plunge down approximately 2,000 feet to the Gunnison river.
It took over two million years for the river to cut through these rocks at a rate of one inch every century.
Despite it’s magnificence, it remains one of the least visited National Parks in America, mainly because it received the status of a National Park quite recently in 1999. So unlike the Grand Canyon, you wouldn’t find millions of people climbing on rocks to get that perfect picture.
To explore the park, we entered from the South Rim and drove on a scenic loop of 14-miles with multiple overlooks to cherish the grandeur of the canyon. There’s a visitor center on this loop where you can gather knowledge about the granite formations, vegetation on the cliffs, hiking trail and also watch a 20-minute documentary on the explorations of this canyon.
For adventure seekers, this park allows people to hike down to the river through steep descents and almost unmarked paths. And, you also have to be prepared for the abundance of poison ivy and bears close to the river shore!
If you wish to be surprised by the wonders of raw nature, you must visit this national park.
Park entry: $20/vehicle
Where to stay: Montrose is the closest town to this National Park. If you’re looking for options to eat and stay, then you can look in this town.