One of the darkest, steepest, most treacherous canyons in the American West is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The canyon is so narrow that some areas only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day. The Black Canyon got its name because the steep walls block the sun, and it gets really dark down in the canyon. The canyon started forming two million years ago when the river started forcing its way through the layers of rock. Much of the canyon is made up of nice, one of the hardest stones on the planet, which is why the river cuts such a narrow pathway. Here in the Black Canyon, you will experience one of the most rugged wilderness areas in North America.
Before you set out for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, protect yourself and your travel partner with
visitors medical insurance or
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park’s Most Popular Places for Travel
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is the least crowded national park. The park only allows a limited number of people into the canyon per day to protect the fragile ecosystem, and they want to make sure hikers know what they're getting themselves into. Here are some of the activities that can be done in the park.
- Hiking: Hiking trails are available along both rims of the canyon. One of the best views of the canyon is on the North Rim. Meanwhile, the South Rim Road (the park’s panoramic road) features splendid vantage points. Get a wilderness permit to take a trail down to the river bottom. The hike down the canyon is not a maintained trail, and there are no signs or markers. It's a difficult hike, a slippery descent, and a grueling ascent to get out. Make sure you are prepared for both the steep grades and the ruggedness of the terrain.
- Painted Wall: The Painted Wall gets its name from the streaks of lighter colors you can see across it. These lines were formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago, when molten rock intruded into fractures and joints in the existing rock, cooled, and then hardened.
- Camping: The park also offers a fantastic camping experience. There are designated campgrounds at each rim. The South Rim campground is open all year round, the North Rim is open from April to November, and the East Portal campground stays open from May to October. There are camping fees for campgrounds at South Rim and East Portal. The sites at North Rim are the first-come, first-serve basis.
- Fishing: It's one of the newest national parks sheltering a 12-mile stretch of the Gunnison River, one of the best fishing spots in the country. Try your hand at fly fishing.
- Star Gazing: The park offers fascinating views of the night sky, giving a perfect opportunity to experience the dark skies.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
The park is uncrowded and has a designated wilderness area. These conditions come rife with with risks, so it’s important to plan well before your trip to the park.
- Bears: The Black Canyon is a prime habitat for black bears. So, be prepared if you are hiking down to the base or staying overnight at a campground. Place your food, garbage, and toiletries in a bear box/locker.
- Poison Ivy: Poison ivy proliferates through the canyon, up to your shoulders in some spots. These plants can grow four to five feet tall, making them easy to spot but hard to avoid. Hiking boots and long sleeves are strongly recommended. You’ll know its poison ivy when you see a vine or a bush with clusters of three almond-shaped leaves at the end of long stems. During summers, the leaves range from light to dark green, and in the fall, they turn bright red.
- Know What You Need: Since there is no bridge connecting the two rims, getting around can be time-consuming. Planning would be key before you arrive. If you are hiking, make sure you have all the necessary gear and safety equipment with you. If you are camping, make sure you have all that you possibly need to camp.
Visitors Medical Insurance for Travelers in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - FAQs
A destination like Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is majestic but also challenging. There are spots where you can hike the rocky terrain to stand at the edge of 2,000-foot (more than 600-meter) canyon walls. There are also places in the canyon that are quite difficult to reach. A step in the wrong direction could have you requiring medical assistance. For this reason, be sure to purchase visitors medical insurance to safeguard yourself against potentially lifelong financial consequences.
Why buy visitors medical insurance before traveling to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park?
The indigenous tribes have long declared the canyon to be impassable. The trails are unpredictable, and some of the most difficult trails in the world can be found here. Even expert hikers find them challenging. The hikes can be strenuous, so if you are attempting to hike, make sure your fitness level is good. Also, be prepared to get yourself out of the canyon, because rescue can be difficult and getting help could take a few hours. Knowing what you may be up against in a bad situation can mentally prepare you for what to expect and help you stay calmer when these types of things happen.
Buying visitors medical insurance can help you keep the costs of medical services to a minimum, should you need them.
What should I look for in my Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park visitors medical insurance?
Consider the following benefits in your visitors medical insurance plan:
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - FAQs
Canceling your dream vacation is not an easy decision. Getting a refund for your bookings can be even more exhausting. Trip cancellation insurance could give you coverage and protection for unforeseen circumstances that require the trip to be canceled.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park travel?
You can't plan for everything, but with trip cancellation insurance, you can be protected. An unexpected injury, illness, death, or circumstances beyond one’s control can result in trip cancellation. You can be reimbursed for the full cost of your prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses if you have to cancel for a reason included in your policy’s certificate wording. Be sure to review the fine print of your plan before purchase for a full understanding of what situations would be covered. You should also be sure to insure the full cost of your trip and to purchase the insurance before the need to cancel arises.
What should I look for in my Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park trip cancellation insurance?
Look for exclusions, including any that may be related to your location or specific activities you plan to participate in while visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Also, consider benefits like trip interruption coverage for a covered reason, missed connection coverage, trip delay coverage, and baggage loss coverage.
Travel insurance is the kind of thing that you don’t think you’ll need until you really wish you had it. The money it can save you is well worth its cost. Again, be sure to review the certificate wording before purchase so you know what you’re buying.
Before You Travel to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - Do This
Pack up all items you might need during your trip, and look up other visitor’s experiences and reviews of the park. This can provide you with some real-life information so you’ll know what to expect firsthand from people who have been to the park before you. They can provide realistic expectations and prepare you for common obstacles that may arise.
Above all, we highly recommend that you buy
travel insurance or
to protect against risks that could prove financially catastrophic. Enter some basic information about your trip, review your options, and select the plan that best matches your travel itinerary, your destination, and your travel budget.