Date of Visit: July 8, 2015 (South Rim) & July 29, 2020 (North Rim).
How we got there: Took the scenic route from Moab, Utah, using Utah Hwy 46 and Colorado Hwy 90. About 3.5 hours (2015).
Drove from Grand Junction via the scenic route across Grand Mesa (2020).
Lodging: We ended our day at the Grand Junction Palomino Inn, but there is also lodging much closer to the park.
- Oak Flat Trail – 2-mile loop trail that begins at the visitor center and passes through forested slopes and dips below the canyon rim.
- South Rim Road and viewpoints – The 7-mile scenic drive has 12 canyon overlooks, mostly accessible by short trails. Our favorites were Gunnison Point (at the visitor center), Pulpit Rock, Painted Wall View and Devil’s Lookout.
- Gunnison Diversion Dam – Drive down the extremely steep and twisty East Portal Road to reach the canyon floor at the site of the dam built to divert water to the Uncompahgre Valley for agricultural use.
- North Visit trail to Exclamation Point – 3 mile round trip hike through cedar forest to a view down the length of the canyon.
Tips: No marked trails lead to the canyon bottom as it’s extremely difficult and not recommended for most people.
Next time: Hike to Warner Point (lightning stopped us from making the short hike on our first visit.)