Family Flashback (3): Gorgeous Gorge

The fourth day of our great road trip, six years ago today, began in Gunnison, Colorado. The primary point of interest that we had planned for this day was the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The Gunnison River has carved a deep (830-meter/2,723-foot), steep-walled gorge (Colorado’s deepest) through pre-Cambrian rock. This national park incorporates 14 miles/22.5 km of the canyon and was established only 21 years ago. We unfortunately didn’t have enough time to explore the winding East Portal road, which descends to the river, but did take several short hiking trails that afforded us spectacular—and rather dizzying—views into some of its inner secrets. As we continued on our way, we made a detour when we saw signs for the Colorado National Monument, but we only had time to explore a very small part of it, since we wanted to get into Utah by daylight—but our brief visit did reward us with an unexpected but very exciting encounter with a small group of bighorn sheep in fine condition; we’d never seen them up close like this.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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16 Responses to Family Flashback (3): Gorgeous Gorge

  1. When doing research a few years ago for a trip that touched Colorado, I was surprised to learn that there’s a national park called Grand Canyon of the Gunnison. The names of the national parks that existed when we were kids are still in our heads, but some or maybe most of the newer ones aren’t in mine. At least you made it to this national park, however briefly.

    • krikitarts says:

      Yes, they are one and the same. We felt so fortunate to have been able to include that in our plans, and we’d both love to go back if there’s another opportunity. I’m no longer comfortable with strenuous hikes, but do very much enjoy shorter, milder ones, and I’d really like to take that side road down to the river.

    • Just as an added point of interest. There is a location I’ve visited in Maine, Gulf Hagas, that is also known as the “Grand Canyon of Maine”. No real comparison although it is a wonderful area with many waterfalls and part of the Appalachian Trail.

      • I looked it up online just now. Perhaps you’ll feature it yourself one of these days.

      • I have. Here’s the first (Screw Auger Falls) and there are two others, one as recently as this past July.

      • How strange. When I left my comment I’d searched for “Gulf Hagas” on your blog but got no hits. Maybe I typed it wrong. When I searched again just now, I found your posts.

      • krikitarts says:

        I’m afraid that I’ve not yet been to Maine, but I’d sure like to. That is a spectacular set of falls (especially like the preliminary set), and I’d love to get there. How strenuous is the hike to that point?

      • The hike itself was not difficult aside from fording a river. That can be dangerous as I was told there is a release of water at times and being in the middle could be fatal. I believe there is a warning horn. As it was it is knee deep and slippery. There is another approach but I never discovered where it is. Lots of people make the crossing and when I visited there was a collection of walking sticks to help with the crossing on both sides. The AT goes through the area and includes crossing the river.

  2. What a wonderful road trip! The gorge is gorgeous!

  3. That was a gorgeous trip. I remember family trips from my childhood and they were always special.

    No surprise…I really like that first shot with all the angles and layers.

    • krikitarts says:

      Our childhood road trips were just from home not far from Detroit to relatives in the Madison, WI area, but I also remember some parts of them clearly and quite fondly. This, however, was one of the most adventurous we’ve undertaken.

  4. Meanderer says:

    Such dramatic scenery; awesome, actually. The sheep look a little like deer from the back (not that I’m an expert in the rear ends of sheep or deer :-) ).

    • krikitarts says:

      I’d have preferred to have northern aspects with all five facing north, as it were, but at least two of the ones facing away turned their heads toward me. Still, if there are going to be rump shots, these sheep do provide rather nice ones.

  5. shoreacres says:

    Well, lookie here! It’s the answer to my question about the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The photos are fabulous, and the place looks just as inviting as I’ve imagined it. I was lucky enough at Monument Rocks to come across pronghorns; the rear ends of the sheep reminded me of them, with those similar white patches.

    • krikitarts says:

      The Black Canyon was one of the most memorable places we visited, and I really hope for a chance to devote more time to deeper and less-hurried explorations. I’d love to have seen pronghorns!

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