Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
World-famous for scenery, this national park is also well-known among birders as a site for the often-elusive Dusky Grouse. Male grouse perform their spring displays individually in the oaks along the south rim road in spring. Green-tailed Towhees are numerous in the park, and this is a terrific place to see White-throated Swifts swooping dramatically along the cliff edges at eye level, to the music of Canyon Wrens. Sometimes even Gunnison Sage-grouse are seen near the park entrance. Mule deer can be numerous, and you are likely to see fat gray rock squirrels perched like hawks on top of shrubs.
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Pinyon/Juniper Forest, Cliff Face, Sagebrush, Grassland/Prairie, Scrub Oak Forest
Directions: From Montrose drive east on US 50 for six miles. Turn left (north) on CO 347 and continue to the entrance of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. To get to the north rim, drive to Crawford. Take CO 92 south of town for three miles. After Crawford State Park and Reservoir turn right (west). Follow the signs to the north rim.
Delorme: 56 D4
Roads of Colorado: 99 D3-E4
Dates of Access: Open all year, but North Rim road is closed in winter
Ownership: National Park Service
Admission: National Park Service fee
Restrictions: Obey all rules and regulations
Parking: Paved parking lots
Lodging: Year-round camping (fee) or hotels in Montrose or Gunnison
Handicapped Access: Standard for a National Park. South campground has accessible sites; some overlooks are accessible