Park Number: 39/59
First Visited: August 13, 2013
The United States boasts the grandeur of many of its canyons, with the Grand being the most acclaimed and Kings the most regal, but the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, though lesser known, holds equal weight across the landscape. It is deep and narrow, sending one into a vertigo trip while staring down its striated walls that alternate between shadowy blacks and gneiss creams. The ominous namesake of the park comes from the fact that there are parts of the canyon that only receive about thirty-five minutes of light a day. The thing is sheer. And like all other canyons, you can enjoy this park’s beauty from above, standing on the rim and admiring the depth, or you can trek below, to the Gunnison River responsible for carving out the eminent gorge. My favorite part about the park, however, as with all other underrated federal property, is the isolation. You can be alone out here. And bask in the lonesome awe.