2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

Montrose, CO - Centennial RV Park and Campground - Site 8

Montrose, CO - Centennial RV Park and Campground - Site 8, another...

Montrose, CO - Centennial RV Park and Campground - Site 8, and...

Fruita to Montrose, CO 0 - our route - 84 miles

Fruita to Montrose, CO 1

Fruita to Montrose, CO 2

Fruita to Montrose, CO 3

Fruita to Montrose, CO 4

Fruita to Montrose, CO 5

Fruita to Montrose, CO 6 - They do raise some corm around...

Fruita to Montrose, CO 7

Fruita to Montrose, CO 8

Fruita to Montrose, CO 9

Fruita to Montrose, CO 10 - downtown Montrose

Fruita to Montrose, CO 11

Fruita to Montrose, CO 12

Fruita to Montrose, CO 13 - How long since you have seen...

Fruita to Montrose, CO 14 - need to learn how to parallel...

Black Canyon South Rim 1

Black Canyon South Rim 2 - closeup of the Gunnison River about...

Black Canyon South Rim 3

Black Canyon South Rim 4

Black Canyon South Rim 5

Black Canyon South Rim 6

Black Canyon South Rim 7 - Painted Wall

Black Canyon South Rim 8 - more of Painted Wall

Black Canyon South Rim 9

Black Canyon South Rim 10

Black Canyon South Rim 11 - it's Fall already at this elevation

Black Canyon South Rim 12

Black Canyon South Rim 13

Black Canyon South Rim 14

Black Canyon South Rim 15

Black Canyon South Rim 16

Black Canyon South Rim 17

Black Canyon South Rim 18 - We are headed down to the...

Black Canyon South Rim 19 - the Gunnison River at the bottom...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 0 - our route - 183 miles

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 1 - pretty flowers in Delta, CO

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 2 - when is the last time...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 23

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 24

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 5 - the H on the hillside...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 26

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 27

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 8 - the road to the North...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 9 - the Rim Drive is also...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 10 - but its a pretty drive

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 11 - the view is a little...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 12

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 13

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 14

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 15 - the North side on the...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 16

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 17

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 18

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 19

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 20 - heading back out of the...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 21 - looks like a volcano doesn't...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 22 - in the Curecanti NRA climbing...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 23

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 24

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 25

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 26 - a mule deer crosses in...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 27

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 28

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 29

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 30

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 31 - the road we just traversed...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 32

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 33

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 34 - the Blue Mesa Dam -...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 35

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 36

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 37

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 38 - the outflow of the dam

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 39 - the reservoir created by the...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 40 - on the way back to...

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 41

Black Canyon North Rim Trip 42


It was a quick 84 miles from Fruita to Montrose, CO over not so good roads. Highway US 50 from Fruita to Delta looks good but it is constantly in shallow dips. It reminds you of the frostheaves in Canada and Alaska but the dips are shallower so you can still drive over them at full speed. It just gives the suspension a good workout. Doris says it also makes it very hard to take pictures! :) We had those up until the last 30 or so miles where the road had been redone.

We are staying at Centennial RV Park & Campground which is a very nice Passport America park about 10 miles South of Montrose. It is probably the nicest PA park we have been in though the PA rates are only good for three days max. We have a 50 amp full hookup pull-through which is very long. The only down side is the side by side hookups but the sites are wide enough that the loss of privacy on the passenger side isn't as bad as most with side by side hookups. We also have good free wireless and was able to view the satellite after a little jockeying to get around a tree.

Tuesday we went into Black Canyon on the Gunnison National Park to explore its South Rim. This is one of our newest National Parks being only 12 years old. It was named a National Monument in 1933 and became a National Park in 1999. Just to the East of the National Park is Curecanti National Recreation Area where the Black Canyon continues outside of the National Park.

The Black Canyon is different from any of the other canyons we have seen this Summer as it is very narrow and steep-sided as well as having a much darker coloration. Most of the viewpoints on the South Rim are located a good distance from the parking so we hiked about two miles just getting from the car to the viewpoints without hiking any specified "hiking trails". It rained off and on all day but it wasn't very crowded so we took our time and just enjoyed the solitude and magnificent scenery. Some of the pictures may have been better in full sun but the low hanging clouds look good as well. It was amazing to watch the clouds keep rising from the canyon and up.

Wednesday we took off for the North Rim of Black Canyon. Similar to the Grand Canyon, you have to drive a good distance to get around the canyon and back to its rim from the other side. The total trip was a little over 180 miles but also allowed us to take a scenic drive up into the San Juan Mountains and through the Curecanti NRA. The North Rim has fewer viewpoints and they are closer to the road so we spent much less time viewing the canyon but that gave us more time to enjoy the rest of the drive in the mountains.

Thursday we stayed in camp and relaxed after two long days of sightseeing. Tomorrow we head for Poncha Springs for two nights before continuing to Colorado Springs for a week.

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |