On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Black Canyon: Western slope of Colorado, southeast of Grand Junction. We got a campsite in the park.
I thought that after Zion, the North Rim, Bryce, and Canyonlands I would have been done with canyons. Nope. Black Canyon was different than all the others, because it’s not in the Colorado Plateau red rock country, for one reason. For another, the park brochure had this quote, which describes it better than I can.
“Some are longer, some are deeper, some are narrower, and a few have walls as steep,” writes geologist Wallace Hansen. “But no other canyon in North America combines the depth, narrowness, sheerness and somber countenance of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.” The Gunnison River eroded through hard metamorphic rock in 2 to 3 million years, a third of the time that the Colorado took to carve the Grand Canyon through sedimentary layers.
We had a campsite in the park which made sightseeing easy. We pulled out the eBikes to travel the 7-mile South Rim Road and stop at a few of the overlooks. The next day we drove out to the end and hiked the Warner Point Nature Trail and I hiked out and back the Rim Rock Trail.
Black Canyon, upstream from Warner’s Point. One thing that makes this canyon different than Grand Canyon is that it’s easier to see how it cut through the plateau.
Gunnison Point Overlook at the Visitor Center.
View from the Cross Fissure overlook.
Gunnison River below Chasm View overlook.
View across the Uncompaghre River valley from the Warner’s Point trail. The bare area in the foreground is not sand dunes, it’s Mancos Shale, which is rock composed of clays and silt where vegetation won’t grow.
Painted Wall overlook. The Painted Wall is the highest cliff in Colorado, at 2,300 feet. The sinuous intrusions of molten light colored rock occurred more than a billion years ago.
Rim Rock Trail
Rim Rock Trail – juniper tree next to the rim.