Monday, November 5

Black Canyon National Park

Earlier in the year when we were in Northwestern Colorado a couple locals told me about a cave in the area. A cave that has a lake inside, with eyeless fish. We drove an hour to get there, hiked up to the opening and went inside just a little ways. We only had a couple flashlights and since it was an undeveloped cave, we were actually a little scared to go too far inside, so we turned around and vowed to come back again better prepared. We thought about going there this past weekend, but we decided against it since we thought it would be too far for a day trip.

Instead I break out the road atlas and found another one of those "green areas" south of us, that didn't look too far, so we packed up some drinks and snacks and headed off for The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

We headed south on scenic Hwy 65, otherwise known as The Grand Mesa Scenic Byway. Turns out the mountain that I had been calling Grand Mesa, isn't. Here we are driving over Grand Mesa. The mountain range in the far right distance is the mountain I see from the RV, not Grand Mesa, someday I'll learn the name.
Grand Mesa

After leaving the mountain we were in cattle country. And donkey territory.
Donkey along the road to Black Canyon NP
He's about as afraid of cars as the deer are around here.

Check out the road to even get to this National park.
The road into Black Canyon NP
When I took the pic I didn't even notice the very edge of the canyon walls, doesn't really look like much, huh? Take a walk to the edge:
First view of Black Canyon NP
Holy cow! It was way more than we were expecting, it's freakin' deep. As it turns out, this canyon is the deepest, sheerest canyon in North America, with the water in the Black Canyon falling more than ten times faster than the Grand Canyon.

Black Canyon NP
Rock that makes up the canyon walls: They appear black because the walls are so close together, and so deep, casting lots of shade, darkening the appearance. At least that's my uneducated guess. :)

Blue haired Jonas leaning over the railing.
Black Canyon NP
Trying to see the bottom.
Looking straight down into Black Canyon NP
Jake asked if he could pee over the canyon, I said "sure".
Shocked, "Really?"
Black Canyon NP
Click. No, but thanks for the photo.

It took us almost four hours to get there, and we only got to the North Rim. We had planned on driving around the entire park and viewing both rims but that would have taken another three or four hours. The cave with fish with no eyes, would have taken an hour and a half....max. I'm so glad we came though, and hope to see it again from the south and also check out the visitor center there, and maybe be there during sunrise or sunset to get better pictures that aren't blinded by the sun. Now we know.


Madeline Rains said...

Wow! I say "wow" so often here. What a truly sheer drop. Beautiful and eerie.

Roxanne said...

"Jake asked if he could pee over the canyon"
That is sooo funny- having boys I can totally relate to this!!!

Hilary said...

Was there a road there somewhere? lol The cave sounds very mysterious. Hope you get back there soon.

Kathy said...

oh wow! What incredible rock walls!

Sandra Dodd said...

I love seeing your photos.

I hope you're in a good place to wait out the storm tomorrow and thereabout.

Unknown said...

So, how far are you from Rapid City, SD?

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