Are you using a screen reader? Click here to view the navigation links for this site as a bulleted list.



Partner logos: BLM, FWS, FS, NPS, University of Montana Wilderness.net Logo
Connecting federal employees, scientists, educators, and the public with their wilderness heritage
Text size: A | A | A  [Print]

Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning Images

Area Management

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness is part of the 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness Area is managed by the National Park Service. In 1933, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument was proclaimed by President Herbert Hoover. Congress designated the monument a national park in 1999.

In 1976 Congress designated the park lands below the canyon rims for additional protection within the National Wilderness Preservation System. Additional lands, including some areas above the rim, were added to the National Wilderness Preservation System as part of the 1999 National Park Act.

ENTRANCE FEE - SINGLE VISIT: The entrance fee is $15.00 per vehicle at the South Rim entrance station and the North Rim ranger station of Black Canyon. It covers all persons in a single, private, noncommercial vehicle and is valid for seven calendar days. The entry fee for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, motor scooters, or mopeds is $7.00 per person, not to exceed $14.00 per vehicle. There is no fee charged for persons 16 years of age or younger.

BLACK CANYON ANNUAL PASS: An Annual Pass to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is available at the entrance station for $30.00 This pass admits the permit holder and all accompanying passengers in a single, private, noncommercial vehicle to the park. It is valid for 12 months from date of purchase and covers entry fees only.

WILDERNESS USE PERMITS: A free permit is required for all backcountry and wilderness use (both day use and overnight) including hiking the innercanyon or off established trails, rock climbing and all river use. Permits are available at the South Rim Visitor Center, North Rim Ranger Station and East Portal registration board (located west of the campground). Permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If these facilities are closed, there are self registration stations with instructions at each location.

Please be sure to thoroughly complete the permit with accurate and legible information. While in the backcountry, keep this permit with you at all times. When you have finished your trip, check out with a ranger, or if the building is closed, place your permit in the self registration box.

Permits are not required for any of the following:

• Established hiking trails including Rim Rock Nature Trail, Oak Flat Loop Trail, Cedar Point Nature Trail, Warner Point Nature Trail, Uplands Trail, Chasm View Nature Trail, North Vista Trail, Deadhorse Trail, Green Mountain Trails

• Day use anglers and hikers entering the national park from East Portal (all boaters and overnight backpackers do require a permit).

WILDERNESS REGULATIONS: • Wilderness Use permits are required. • Wood fires are prohibited. Use camp stoves only. • No pets. • A valid Colorado Fishing license is required if you choose to fish the Gunnison River. • Hunting is prohibited. • Collecting wood, flowers, plants, animals and rocks is prohibited. • Bury all human waste in 6” deep holes at least 100 feet from the river. If pit toilets are available, please use them. • Pack out all trash, including toilet paper.




Give us your feedback