Rocky Mountains

Black Canyon Trail

A River Runs Through It

Where the Gunnison River comes tumbling out of the mountains, it gurgles through deciduous bottomland forests that seem to have been transplanted straight from New England, complete with Least Flycatchers and the occasional Veery. Then it pools into Colorado’s largest body of water, providing rest and nourishment to huge rafts of waterfowl and gulls. For its grand finale, it roars down into the ground to rush past Colorado’s tallest sheer cliffs in the magnificent Black Canyon-a canyon the river carved, slicing through solid granite. Along the way, the river sees the Dusky Grouse puffing and strutting in April, hears the White-throated Swifts whizzing overhead in June, and reverberates with the bugling of rutting elk on autumn mornings. If you follow the river down this trail, you’ll never be far from the water-or from the diversity it has created.