Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
|Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (National Park Service)|
The canyon and its rims are home to a variety of wildlife, from the chipmunks and ground squirrels to weasels, badgers, marmots, and black bear. Infrequently bobcat and cougars are sighted, and at night, coyotes may be heard. If you come across trees that have been gnawed on, you will have found evidence that porcupines are thereabouts, for the bark of pinyon pine is a favored winter food of this quill-covered rodent. The Gambel oak and serviceberry that cover most of the Gunnison Uplift provide a good habitat for towhees, western tanagers, pinyon and scrub jays, and black-billed magpies. The cliffs are home to white-throated swifts, violet-green swallows, golden eagles, turkey vultures, and red-tailed hawks, who all take advantage of the updrafts for soaring. The canyon is one of the last shelters in Colorado for the peregrine falcon.
Summer interpretive programs are offered by park rangers on the South Rim, including nature walks, geology talks, and evening campfire programs. Check the park bulletin boards or stop at the Gunnison Point Visitor Center for a current schedule.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication