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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Fees & Reservations

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - 21

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – 21 (Photo credit: MichaelTurk)

All of the National Parks in the United States offer great value for money, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is certainly no exception.

  • $15 is the entrance fee for a private, non-commercial vehicle, and that includes the passengers for a full seven days. Now that’s what I call VFM!
  • People who enter the park by any other means, okay, we’re talking hikers, motorbikers, cyclists etc, only have to pay $7 each for a full seven days, but persons who are 16 years of age or less don’t have to pay anything at all.
  • If anyone is lucky enough to live close enough to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park so that they can pay regular visits throughout the year, then a $30 annual pass is all you have to pay. This includes not only the permit holder but also any passengers who are with them in a private, non-commercial vehicle and lasts for a full 12 months (which is kinda’ why it’s called an annual pass).
  • Commercial vehicles with a seating capacity of 6 or less have to pay $25 plus $7 per person.
  • Commercial vehicles with a seating capacity of 7 – 25 have to pay $40
  • Commercial vehicles with a seating capacity of more than 26 have to pay $100

Very reasonably priced I’m sure you will agree, but hang on, it gets even better. All of Americas National Parks have fee free days, and though the dates do vary from year to year, the occasions generally don’t. Here are the free free days for 2012, no doubt the year after will also be similar – just to be clear though, these days offer free entrance to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park only, if you want to stay over and camp then normal fees do apply.

  • January 14 through 16
  • April 21 through 29
  • June 9
  • September 29
  • November 10 through 12 

 

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Permits

If you plan on going into the wilderness or the back country at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park then you’ll need to get a permit. They don’t cost anything, they’re absolutely free, and you can get ’em from the South Rim Visitor Center, the North Rim Ranger Station and the East Portal – just a little west of the campground. These permits are free but numbers are limited, it’s first come, first served. You don’t need a permit to enjoy one of the many recognized and established hiking trails in the park, but you do need ’em before you enter the back country, whether it’s a day trip or whether you plan on spending the night.

Camping at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

There’s nothing quite like a camping trip to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, the feeling of freedom, peace and tranquility really can’t be beaten anywhere, but before I tell you more about the campgrounds and options available, there’s something very important that you need to consider. Bears live in the park, they’ve lived there for years, they’re wild bears and they need to stay that way. It’s important to keep the bears safe, it’s important to keep the campers safe, so remember these few simple rules.

  • Always place your food into the bear proof storage lockers which are provided at the campground, along with other scented stuff – toothpaste, sunscreen, tobacco – don’t leave this stuff in your tent or your trailer.
  • If there’s no room left in the lockers then put the stuff into the trunk of your car with the doors locked and the windows up.
  • Always clean up left-overs after eating. The campsite, the table, everywhere – there should be no trace of food after you have finished.
  • After you’ve deposited your trash in the dumpsters – lock ’em.

Bears are regular visitors to both the North and the South Rim campgrounds, so be careful, be alert and be safe – kind of exciting though huh?

North Rim Campground – Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

This campground is open from the Spring through to the Fall. There are 13 sites in all with tables, grills and vault toilets. Water is brought in by truck so is available from the middle of May until the middle of September, which means that you certainly can’t go filling up your RV – use it sparingly. Campground fees are $12 per night, there are no hook-ups and it’s not really suitable for vehicles longer than 35′.  This site does not take reservations, it’s first come, first served, and you’re allowed to stay for a maximum of 14 days per month. Generators are permitted for designated hours. Each site is suitable for a maximum of 8 people and 2 vehicles.

South Rim Campground – Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

There are 3 loops on the south rim, Loop A is open year-round, Loops B and C are open Spring through to the Fall. With 88 sites in all, tables, grills and vault toilets. Again, the water is trucked in so although it is available from the middle of May until the middle of September it must be used sparingly. Electrical hook-ups are available in Loop B, and there are no generators permitted at the South Rim Campground. Again, vehicles of 35′ are not permitted, and each site is suitable for up to 8 people and 2 vehicles for a maximum of 14 consecutive days.

Loop A – camping in Loop A is charged at $12 per night plus $3 surcharge per night for reservations.

Loop B – with electrical hook-ups, therefore charges of $18 per night applyplus $3 surcharge for reservations.

Loop C – is charged at $12 per night.

If you do want to reserve a campground then you’ve got to do it at least 3 days in advance.


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