One of the best ways to see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is to take a boat tour.
One of the best ways to see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is to take a boat tour. Tours, given by National Park Service rangers, are offered from June through Labor Day on Morrow Point Reservoir.
To take the boat tour, you have to be able to handle stairs and a hike. The hike starts with a walk down 232 steps.
here are two landings with benches along the way in case you need a break. While you may not need it on the way down, you may need it on the way up.
After the stairs, there's a 3/4-mile walk along the river, to the boat dock.
Morrow Point Reservoir is technically not in the National Park, but it is in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The Black Canyon stretches 48 miles between Gunnison and Montrose.
Part of the canyon is protected as a National Park, part of it as a National Recreation Area. The National Recreation Area has three reservoirs -- Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal. The boat tours are on Morrow Point Reservoir.
On the tour you'll marvel at the steep, rock walls along the canyon and get to see Chipeta Falls.
You'll also see the Curecanti Needle rock formation.
The Curecanti Needle is a rock formation that the Denver & Rio Grande used on its logo to advertise the scenic train rides in the canyon.
Another shot of the Curecanti Needle rock formation in Morrow Point Reservoir in the Back Canyon of the Gunnison.
The boat tour cruises several miles of the Black Canyon while the ranger talks about the history of the canyon, how it was formed, the old railroad, the geology of the canyon and how important water is to Colorado and the western United States.
The boat travels seven miles in about 45 minutes to Kokanee Bay, where it turns around. On the way back, visitors can walk around the boat and ask questions as they enjoy the scenery.
Boat tours cost $16 for adults, $8 for kids and seniors with passes. You will need a reservation. http://www.nps.gov/cure/planyourvisit/boattour.htm