“No other canyon in North America combines the depth, narrowness, sheerness, and somber countenance of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison,” Wallace Hansen wrote after studying the geology of the region for several years. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is only 40 miles from Ridgway via Highway 550 north to Montrose, then Highway 50 east. Plan to spend time visiting the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose along your way.
Take Highway 550 north to Montrose, then go east on Highway 50 to Colorado 347. This takes you into the park. Start your exploration at the Visitors Center. It provides excellent information about the park, as well as maps for driving and hiking. The canyon has an excellent range of hiking trails, and is even open in the winter for cross country skiing. Be sure to check out the star viewing nights with the Black Canyon Astronomy Society, too. For more information, visit Black Canyon web pages of the National Park Service.