Black Canyon of the Gunnison camping

Black canyon of the gunnison hotels and camping

Photo: Jacqueline Kehoe

South Rim Campground: With 88 campsites and 23 hookups, the South Rim Campground is the largest campground and only one open year-round. Sites have decent shade but are fairly close together, so don’t expect much privacy. You’ll need to make a reservation online for stays between mid-May and mid-September. If you want to venture on a hike right out your tent door, Rim Rock Nature Trail starts near the entrance to Campground Loop C.

North Rim Campground: If you’re looking for something more remote, head to the North Rim Campground. The 13 campsites (no hookups) fill on a first-come, first-served basis and are only open in summer. It’s a no-frills campground but has more spacious spots surrounded by pinyon and juniper trees. Chasm View Nature Trail is at the end of the campground loop.

East Portal Campground: Technically within Curecanti National Recreation Area, the East Portal Campground is only accessible through Black Canyon National Park. But this spot is prime if you’re all about the location as it’s next to the Gunnison River. Remember that weather changes rapidly and temperatures can vary by 30 degrees or more between day and night.

Wilderness Camping: The park has several backpacking routes into the inner canyon with established campsites along the Gunnison River. Unlike in many national parks, none of the routes are marked or maintained, so you’ll probably want some backcountry experience. Don’t be fooled if you’re looking at a map of these trails – the distances are short but the inclines are very steep. Get a permit at either the South Rim Visitor Center or North Rim Ranger Station; no advanced reservations are required/accepted.

Hotels near Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Maxing out at 14 miles long, Black Canyon is one of the smallest parks in the country and most of that area is dedicated to nature and wilderness. With that, there are no hotels directly in the park. The nearest town, Montrose, has a few good budget-friendly options. We rounded up the cutest and most affordable hotels near Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park here.