Look no further for some of the best camping in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, plus tips to enjoy your stay from The Dyrt Ranger team the Switchback Kids.

Most Popular Campgrounds in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is so sheer, deep and narrow, that sunlight only touches the canyon floor when the sun is directly overhead. Etched out over millions of years by the Gunnison River and volcanic uplift, this dark, 2000ft chasm features sheer walls and dizzying depths that are like no other canyon in America. Exploring this national park is as spectacular as it is eerie.

Here are three of the most popular campgrounds.

1. South Rim Campground, CO

Photo from The Dyrt user Michael K.

One of the best things about the South Rim Campground is that it’s reservable. So you’ll be covered no matter what time of day you choose to arrive. This campground is spacious, with sites that are tucked away from others, and is located close to the visitor center and several prominent hiking trails. Your best bet for exploring the South Rim.

Reviews & Photos

2. North Rim Campground, CO

Photo from The Dyrt user Hannah K.

Located within walking distance to the Black Canyon, North Rim Campground gets an A+ for proximity. All sites are on a first come, first served basis and feature vault toilets, picnic tables and fire grates. With lots of great views, hiking and fishing opportunities, this campground is highly recommended.

Reviews & Photos

3. East Portal, CO

Photo from The Dyrt user Shelley K.

If primitive camping is more your thing, then East Portal is the campground for you. Set in a grove of trees, right next to the Gunnison River, this spot is nothing short of beautiful. Even though the campground is located at the edge of the national park,  you still have a twisty ride down to the river. Which can be a welcome change if you aren’t acclimated to the altitude.

Reviews & Photos

Explore Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The best way to experience this 32,950-acre national park is by getting amongst it. No other canyon in America combines the narrow openings, sheer walls and dizzying depths of the Black Canyon, and a peek over the edge will challenge your senses. Whether you’re an experienced rock climber looking to scale Colorado’s highest cliff face or you want to give fly-fishing a go, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park evokes a sense of adventure and awe in all who visit.

The Dyrt’s Ranger duo the Switchback Kids, who spent a year visiting all 59 National Parks, have put together this incredible video to document their firsthand experience in Black Canyon of the Gunnison with the hopes of improving the visit of others.

Switchback Kids Ranger Tip: In the off-season, camping at the developed campground is only $6/night, but don’t forget to bring your own water!

And, in case you still (somehow) need convincing to fit this park in your summer itinerary, we present Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park:

Win gear for camping Black Canyon of the Gunnison

When you review campsites across the US on The Dyrt, you get the chance to win outdoor gear. In Colorado, you have the chance to win a $100 gift card from Green Goo and a $150 gift card from Primus. Check out the contest leaderboard, review your camping experience, earn points for your review, and you could win prizes!


Have a tip, suggestion or correction for this article? Let us know at editorial@thedyrt.com.

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Mark Silvester

Mark Silvester

When he isn't explaining the difference between Australia and the United States, you can find Mark in the mountains, at a show or on his skateboard.