Telluride, CO and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Every year Len Montgomery and I take a short vacation around her birthday. For 2018 we decided to spend a couple of days in Telluride, CO. On the way back we stopped by one of my favorite (and I think, under-rated) national parks, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Telluride

A black-and-white photo of a tree-lined mountain creek

Looking southeast across Telluride, CO towards Trico Peak.

A black-and-white photo of a mountain road winding along a valley next to a tree-lined creek

Looking southeast towards Trico Peak from near Telluride’s cemetery.

A mountain cemetery

Telluride’s cemetery.

Three tall fins of red rock on top of a low mountain ridge, silhouetted by a gray winter sky

Odd stone outcroppings just south of Telluride, CO. The Telluride ski area is just on the other side of this ridge.

Looking down the road in a mountain town

Looking southeast across Telluride, CO towards Trico Peak from the Airbnb Len Montgomery and Nathan Acks stayed in.

A snowy mountain range frames a wide, shallow valley full of aspen trees

Looking southeast across Mountain Village. The large white building near the center is “The Peaks” resort.

A bright red British-style phone booth against a rusting corrugated metal wall

A phone booth in Mountain Village.

A bright red British-style phone booth against a rusting corrugated metal wall

A phone booth in Mountain Village.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A tall, domed mountain rises above the surrounding peaks

I believe the peak near the center of this photo is Castle Rock. Taken near High Point at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Sculpted hills, looking like something between sand dunes and badlands, descend from the mountains towards a high plateau

A heavily eroded area, almost badland-like, visible from High Point at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Montrose lies in the distance.

Looking northeast into the steep walls of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Looking northeast into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison from between High Point and Warner Point.

Len sits on a rock overlooking the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Len Montgomery at Warner Point.

Len sits on a rock overlooking the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Len Montgomery looks out into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison at Warner Point.

The view straight into the steep, jagged mouth of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Looking northeast into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison from Warner Point.

A GIF of clouds moving across the mouth of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Looking northeast into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison from Warner Point.

A tall, domed mountain rises above the surrounding peaks

I believe the peak near the center of this photo is Castle Rock. Taken near High Point at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

A short, globe-like juniper tree stands alone in the middle of a rocky clearing

Junipers on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

A short, globe-like juniper tree stands alone in the middle of a rocky clearing

Junipers on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point. Len Montgomery is visible on the right side of the photo.

A short, globe-like juniper tree stands alone in the middle of a rocky clearing

Len Montgomery walks along the junipers on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

A gnarled juniper in the high mountain desert surrounding the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A juniper on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

A gnarled juniper in the high mountain desert surrounding the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A juniper on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

A gnarled juniper in the high mountain desert surrounding the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A juniper on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

A gnarled juniper in the high mountain desert surrounding the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A juniper on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

A gnarled juniper in the high mountain desert surrounding the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A juniper on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

A gnarled juniper in the high mountain desert surrounding the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A juniper on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

Gnarled juniper branches against the sky

A juniper on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

A short GIF providing a sense of depth to a cluster of gnarled juniper branches against the sky

A short animated GIF of the branches of a juniper on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

A gnarled, Y-shaped juniper

A juniper on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Serpent Point.

Two huge crows sit on dead stumps in front of a thick wall of juniper and sage

Crows of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Looking across a high, stony plateau towards a distant range of domed, snow-covered peaks

Looking southeast from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison from near Serpent Point.

Len walking through a thicket of desert bushes, most of which are taller than she is

Len Montgomery walks south from the rim wall near Serpent Point at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

An animated GIF of Len walking through a thicket of desert bushes, most of which are taller than she is

Len Montgomery walks south from the rim wall near Serpent Point at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

A view down the Gunnison, through the steep, broken walls of the Black Canyon

The Gunnison flows west through the Black Canyon.

A view down the Gunnison, through the steep, broken walls of the Black Canyon

The Gunnison flows west through the Black Canyon.

The wall of the deep purple rock of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, shot through with intrusions of white granite

The Painted Wall of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

A view down the Gunnison, through the steep, broken walls of the Black Canyon

The Gunnison flows west through the Black Canyon. The Painted Wall is at right.

A view down the Gunnison, through the steep, broken walls of the Black Canyon

The Gunnison flows west through the Black Canyon.

The wall of the deep purple rock of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, shot through with intrusions of white granite

The Painted Wall of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

A view down the Gunnison, through the steep, broken walls of the Black Canyon

The Gunnison flows west through the Black Canyon. The Painted Wall is at right.

Len stands next to a gnarled juniper tree on the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Len Montgomery and a juniper tree at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Len stands next to a gnarled juniper tree on the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Len Montgomery and a juniper tree at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Moss grows at the base of a juniper tree

Moss at the base of a juniper at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

A view down the Gunnison, through the steep, broken walls of the Black Canyon

The Gunnison flows west through the Black Canyon. The Painted Wall is at right.

Looking straight across the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to the north rim’s high plateau

Looking north to Serpent Point from the south rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.


Nathan Acks
April 9, 2018