The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is one of the most spectacular natural attractions in the Centennial State. While some of the rock is a dark shade, the “black canyon” name actually stems from the fact that some parts of the gorge are only touched by the sun for 33 minutes a day.
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Roughly 238,000 people are estimated to visit this national park each year, more than 12 times the number of people that permanently live in the nearest town, Montrose, in Western Colorado.
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The canyon is 2,722 feet deep at its deepest point, with its famous Painted Wall feature stretching 2,250 feet. The Painted Wall is also the tallest sheer cliff drop in Colorado.
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While the canyon is 48 miles long, the most drastic 14 miles can be found within the boundaries of the national park.
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Whether you’re hiking, sightseeing, or even ice climbing, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a must-see year-round.