Sheer, black cliffs soaring more than 2,700 feet from an impossibly narrow canyon and national park in western Colorado: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This is one of our favorite hidden gems in the Centennial State. Start planning your off-the-beaten path vacation with our tips on hotels, cabins and camping.
In the National Park
There is no lodging inside Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, but you can find three campgrounds, two on the park’s south side and one on the park’s less developed North Rim. The South Rim Campground is open year round and the East Portal and North Rim campgrounds are open seasonally.
Closest Towns to the Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is divided into two areas: the more popular South Rim and the less developed North Rim. The two areas are a two hour drive apart.
The closest town to the South Rim is Montrose, Colo. Montrose is one of the larger towns on Colorado’s western slope and is home to a variety of independent hotels as well as the well-known chains such as Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn. If you’re looking for a more developed camping experience than that of the national park, Montrose has a KOA and a Jellystone. You’ll find a variety of locally owned, chain and fast food restaurants in Montrose as well.
Twenty minutes south of Montrose, you’ll find Ridgeway State Park, nestled in the beautiful San Juan Mountains. Make sure to pack sunscreen because before you head to your campsite for the night, you’ll want to get out on the water. Don’t want to pitch a tent? Rent a yurt instead.
The closest town to the North Rim is small, Crawford, Colo., 30 minutes away. Crawford has several independently owned motels and an RV park and campground, as well as a few locally owned cafes. Nearby Hotchkiss, Colo., and Paonia, Colo., offer more of the same.
Delta, Colo. is the closest town to the North Rim with chain accommodations including a Quality Inn and a Days Inn. Delta also has a Walmart. This town is in the heart of Colorado’s wine country, so make sure to plan to stop at some of the area vineyards.
Unique Lodging Near the Park
Go back in time by reserving a campsite in the once bustling railroad town of Cimarron, 20 minutes from Black Canyon’s South Rim. Today, you’ll find a visitor center and railyard to explore. Or, opt for a luxurious wine vacation in Hotchkiss, Colo. at the LeRoux Creek Inn and Vineyards, a bed and breakfast located on a beautiful Colorado vineyard.