Boating and Kayaking in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Boating and Kayaking
The Gunnison River is one of the premier kayak challenges in North America, with Class IV and Class V rapids, and difficult portages required around bigger drops. The spectacular 14-mi stretch of the river that passes through the park is so narrow in some sections that the rim seems to be closing up above your head. Once you're downstream from the rapids (and out of the park), the canyon opens up into what is called the Gunnison Gorge. The rapids ease considerably, and the trip becomes more of a quiet float on Class I to Class III water. Kayaking the river through the park requires a wilderness use permit (and lots of expertise), and rafting is not allowed. However, several outfitters offer guided raft and kayak trips in the Gunnison Gorge and other sections of the Gunnison River.
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