Other Whitewater Trips on the Gunnison River

 »  Upper East
 »  Tributary - Daisy Creek
 »  Tributary - Slate River
 »  Oh-Be-Joyful
 »  Tributary - Taylor River, Taylor Canyon
 »  Tributary - Taylor River, Lower Taylor
 »  Gunny Town Run
 »  Tributary - Cebolla Creek
 »  Tributary - Henson Creek
 »  Tributary - Henson Creek, Lake Fork Box
 »  Tributary - Lake Fork, Gate Campground
 »  Tributary - Lake Fork, Red Bridge Campground
 »  Tributary - Big Cimarron, Big Cimarron Campground
 »  Tributary - Big Cimarron, Lower Cimarron
 »  Black Canyon
 »  Gunnison Gorge
 »  Tributary - Anthracite Creek, Ruby Fork
 »  North Fork Gunnison
 »  Tributary - Upper Kannah Creek
 »  Tributary - Lower Kannah Creek
 »  Tributary - Escalante Creek
 »  Uncompahgre
 »  Dominguez Canyon
 »  Escalante to Whitewater
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Paddlesports Schools:

Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center
Located in:
Salida, CO

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Whitewater Kayaking, Rafting, Rock Climbing, & Mountain Biking: Guided Tours and Professional Instruction. Choose your own a (more...)
site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Rivers in Colorado  :: Gunnison River Colorado  :: Black Canyon Whitewater Kayaking Trip

Black Canyon Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Gunnison River

Black Canyon Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  East Portal
Take Out:  Gunnison Forks
Difficulty:  Class V , Portage
Gradient:  40 - 210 fpm for the first 14 miles
Run Length:  27.7 miles
Current Streamflow:  620 cfs @ 12/14/2016 09:45 AM - GUNNISON RIVER BELOW GUNNISON TUNNEL, CO, reading taken from USGS
Good Level:  500 - 2,200 cfs
Streamflow Comments: 

Low - 500-700 cfs, Medium - 700-1,000 cfs, Medium-High - 1,000-1,250 cfs, High - 1,250-1,600 cfs, Big and Scary - 1,600-2,200 cfs, Unrunnable -3,000+

Season Comments:  May, June, July, August, September
Primary Season:  This section of the Gunnison River is dam-controlled and usually runs from May to September
Permit:  A Backcountry Use Permit is required to run this section of river, for more information call 970-249-1915
Character/Similar To:  Very remote class V gorge,the rapids are very difficult. There is one portage for about a mile through thick Poison Ivy around river wide sieves.
Hazards:  This run has many class V rapids that involve a large amount of scouting. Make sure and take out on river right below the 18-foot waterfall and begin the portage around some of the biggest sieves you have ever seen. The portage involves bushwhacking through very thick poison ivy, and in May through June expect a large tick population so bring protective clothing. This section of the Gunnison is for expert paddlers only.
Water Craft:  kayak
Land Ownership:  Public canyon in a National Monument.
Wilderness:  Yes
Camping on River:  Campgrounds at the put in and take out. There is one nice campground during the long portage on this run, also there is one below the portage
Location:  In the Rocky Mtn Region (CO), 267 miles (5 hours 44 minutes) Southwest of Denver
Shuttle Logistics: 

Take Out: From Hotchkiss head west on Highway 92 for 6.2 miles to a well marked turn towards the Forks of the Gunnison.

Put In: To reach the put in from Montrose head east on Highway 50 and turn north onto Route 347 to the south entrance to the Black Canyon National Monument. Turn right near the entrance to the monument drive to the East Portal.

Towns near Black Canyon Kayaking

Telluride Colorado

Other Resources

Conservation Organizations
  • Save The Poudre
  • Sierra Club-Poudre Canyon Group
  • Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
  • River Managing Agencies
  • Colorado State Parks
  • Rocky Mountain Kayak Clubs
  • Colorado School of Mines Kayak Club
  • Colorado Whitewater Association
  • High Country River Rafters
  • Pikes Peak Whitewater Club
  • Poudre Paddlers
  • Rocky Mountain Canoe Club
  • Travel Guides
  • Colorado Vacation & Travel Guide