Designated a national park in 1999, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a sight to behold. Through its narrows the Gunnison River drops at an average of 95 feet per mile. By comparison, the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park drops an average of 7.5 feet per mile.
The Black Canyon contains some of the oldest exposed rock on Earth. Precambrian, or “basement” rock, is nearly 2 billion years old. Above the rim are forests of pinyon, juniper and scrub oak.