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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Southwestern Colorado: The South Rim of the Black Canyon

September 28th, 2009 · 1 Comment

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Today I returned to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This trip took me down into the canyon and then along the south rim.

Only one road goes down into the canyon. East Portal Road took me to the east side, where although the canyon is wider, it is still beautiful.

Gunnison River in Black Canyon

Gunnison River in Black Canyon

Aside from this road, the only way down is a steep and dangerous hike that all my sources say is not something mortals should consider. I did hike from the East Portal road to the tiny sandbar in this photo, where the rudimentary trail stops completely.

After driving up to the south rim I also made several short walks to viewpoints. The most famous of these is the Painted Wall Viewpoint. Painted Wall is Colorado’s highest cliff, a sheer 2,300 feet.

Painted Wall

Painted Wall

In the photo below you might see a face just below the highest spire. Another photographer pointed it out to me saying that a person had to carve it. I disagree. Nature seems to be every bit as capable as we are.

Rock Carving?

Rock Carving?

My longest and most worthwhile hike today was from High Point, elevation 8,289 feet, at the end of the rim road, to Warner Point, which in fact is even higher than High Point at 8,302 feet. This short trail of a little less than two miles roundtrip took me to the only viewpoint today where I didn’t have to shoot into the sun.

Look Closely in the Center to See the Gunnison River. It's More than 1,700 Feet Below the Rim

Look Closely in the Center to See the Gunnison River. It's More than 1,700 Feet Below the Rim

I gazed at this view for more than an hour, most of the time completely alone except for nature. Seldom have I ever felt more at peace with myself and with the world than I did today.


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Posted in: Hiking

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Henry Kroll // Nov 2, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Great work. I especially like your accessible
    commentary which bolsters the value of the
    gorgeous pictures and scenery. Keep up your
    good work. I want to hear more about fitness
    and photography.

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