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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

"Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time," Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is dog-friendly! The Canyon exposes leashed dogs to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. Dog owners can check out Black Canyon of the Gunnison's official website for information on entrance fees, hours and seasonal road closures.

In the North Rim Campground pets on a leash may be walked on roads to the overlooks, and are allowed on the Cedar Point Nature Trail and North Rim Chasm View Nature Trail. Pets are not allowed on the southern portion of the Rim Rock Trail from June 1 to August 10. Year-round, dogs are not allowed on any other hiking trails, inner canyon routes, on ranger-led geology walks, evening programs in the amphitheater or in wilderness area.

In the South Rim Campground, dogs are allowed from June 1 to August 10 in campsites. However, they may not be taken on walks or carried around the campground or on the southern portion of the Rim Rock Trail due to aggressive deer. Visit Website

Or call (970) 641-2337 for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has received a rating of 4.5 out of 5 bones by 4 canine critics on BringFido.

  • Ami
    Jul. 1, 2021
    North rim is gorgeous!

    We visited the north rim of the park, and dogs were allowed everywhere. Views were stunning.

  • Ruth
    Jul. 1, 2021
    Nice short ‘hike’ with stunning views

    We arrived knowing full well that most of the trails were off limits to dogs, and that was fine. However, the walk from the campsite to the Visitor’s Center was perfect, with stunning views. Well worth the trip.

  • Shannon
    Oct. 26, 2020
    Wow. The Views.

    the views here are amazing. almost all of the viewpoints are dog friendly. however, both of the easy hiking trails of any distance do not allow dogs. that was disappointing.

  • More than a year ago
    The Time of Honeybits' Life!

    A couple weeks ago I took my dog to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado. It is just east of Montrose on highway 347, 7 miles north of Highway 50. Most of the South Rim is dog friendly, although the visitor center is restricted to allow service dogs only.

    The high-altitude canyon is extremely steep and deep, with a roaring river at the bottom that is accessible by car along the East Portal road. There is a road that goes along the South Rim with multiple pull-out points where you can walk to different overlook sites. These overlook sites are mostly not wheelchair friendly and many of them have no guard rails. The canyon rim is 8,000 feet above sea level so sunscreen and water are essential. The night sky, which is free from light pollution, is outstanding if the weather is clear. You can see the same primordial night sky the dinosaurs did: the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is an International Dark Sky Park. There is a large Astronomy Festival in mid-June with guest speakers and special activities.

    Leashed dogs are welcome in the South Rim campgrounds and along nearly all the overlook trails which are easy hiking and which can be up to half a mile in length. Seasonal restrictions sometimes apply to dogs due to aggressive deer that are protecting their young. The rangers are not joking about the deer: two different does came right into our campsite while we were camping, and one brought her fawn. For the dogs’ safety, the backcountry including the hiking and rock climbing into the gorge is off limits to them. Besides the deer there are mountain lions, bears, and rattlesnakes. We saw one bear.

    Overnight tent camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis and RV campsites can be found by consulting the National Parks Services Web site. Water and chemical toilets are available at the campsites, but not showers. Outdoor water fountains are available and there are firepits and some shaded picnic areas.

    We found that we were able to see everything the South Rim of the canyon had to offer in just two days. We completed the dog friendly portion of the park in one day. Staying two nights made sense for us since we were traveling from New Mexico. I would not recommend a longer visit unless you plan to hike down to the river, in which case your dog must be boarded. The NPS Web site lists six different boarding services in nearby Montrose, within very easy driving distance.

    Attached please find some pictures I took with Honeybits, my Hearing Ear dog. She had the time of her life. We would like to rate this adventure as 4 bones out of 5. As a service dog, Honeybits recognizes that other pets can’t enjoy the visitor center the way she did, so we withhold one bone.

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park