Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day 32, Black Canyon of the Gunnison


(yeah, still paying by the minute for internet access...)

We packed up camp and headed to the visitor center of the park. There we got a hiking permit to get down to the bottom of the canyon. The ranger had a whole binder of things to go over with us before letting us take the hike. He had to show us how steep the trail was, how to side step at tricky parts, how to identify route-finding landmarks (boulders, sticks and the like), and how to identify poison ivy (oh, joy!).

We started the hike at about 9:00. The one-mile long, 1,800 foot elevation drop scramble took us almost two hours. The river was green and the 2,000 foot cliffs that surrounded us were gorgeous. We walked around along the river (movie) for a little while and then started the long ascent. Surprisingly, it was faster to go up than down! The hike back only took an hour and a half.

Before leaving the park we drove the South Rim Road and took in all the beautiful vistas (yes, there was a Devil's Overlook). At around 3:00 we hit the road bound for Leadville and Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak at 14,443 feet.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Very nice pics! Too bad you didn't get there an hour or two earlier; you could have issued your own permit and skipped the ranger warnings.