Black Canyon Inspiration

The wonder of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park never disappoints! The views are incredible but challenging to photograph.

The Black Canyon is  a very steep, narrow canyon in which the Gunnison River flows. Some of the deepest sections of the canyon receive only 33 minutes of sunlight a day, hence the name. In Duane Vandenbusche’s book,  Images of America: The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the author states, “Several canyons of the American West are longer and some are deeper, but none combines the depth, sheerness, narrowness, darkness, and dread of the Black Canyon.” This and other conditions such as weather and time of day make the canyon itself such a challenge to photograph.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is only 30 minutes from my home, yet I don’t go there as much as I should. I am usually photo hunting in the nearby mountains instead. I have since decided to try and explore the area and look beyond the obvious more often. It is so close and such a wonderful park that it is a shame not to.

I find the Black Canyon a truly inspiring place, the grandeur and solitude makes this place so special. When I go there for sunrise or sunset I am always surprised to find the area to myself or with only one other person.  It is truly a photographers paradise. I always leave with the thought that I am very fortunate to have this in my “backyard”.

What’s in your backyard?



Sunset at Painted Wall Overlook 




Juniper Star




Twisted Sunset




Dragon’s Tongue




Sunset Point




Cedar Point




By The Light of the Moon and Stars – Vistors Center
Night Photography – I painted the path by using the red light on my headlamp. 



12 thoughts on “Black Canyon Inspiration

  1. Wow! Your photographs are stunning. I totally agree that Black Canyon of the Gunnison is extremely difficult to photograph. Last time I visited, I drove down to the river which gave me a whole new vision. I love the western slope. My brother lives in Grand Junction and we’ve camped at Ridgway State Park a bunch of times. Beautiful country and great place to call home.


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