Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park.

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New Park Quite Deserving of its Designation.

Just one quick look into this canyon ,and you will know why it was upgraded in status in the fall of 2000,to a National Park from its previous listing as a National Monument.Peering across this narrow canyon , & looking at its narrow inner walls ,or standing on its rim , looking down at the canyons floor,and you will realize just how colorful ,steep ,and narrow it really is!Of many trails, my favorite was the " North Vista Trail ".The first 1 miles of this 3 mile trail ( a 7 mile round trip hike) will take you to " Exclamation Point "-a moderate hike.The view into the canyons interior from this scenic vista is one of the most spectacular and colorful sites I have ever seen .It is really exquisit and pleasing to the eyes.After Exclamation point ,the trail continues for another 2 miles and begins ascending to a scenic overlook .The first mile of this ascent and you realize the trail has suddenly become more difficult .The final mile, which brings you to the end of the trail , and the scenic overlook of the canyon , is quite strenuous ,and the elevation by this time has increased substantially.This trail,which could take up to 5 hours to hike (if you stop frequently to take snapshots),is "not for softies" .It is for those who enjoy a long and challenging hike .If you are an inexperienced hiker ,this trail is not for you .The " Northrim Campground " ,which sits alongside the rim of the canyon , is quiet and is fairly shaded with picnic tables .It is primitive & seems best suited for tent camping.

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