Extreme rapids cut through this National Park

Black Canyon


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black canyon overview

One of the most highly inaccessible sections of white water in the state, the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is extremely remote and technical. While stunningly beautiful and awe-inspiring, this section is not recommended to anyone other than the most skilled kayakers and is generally considered un-raftable.

Recommended Trips on the Black Canyon – Gunnison River:

At this time, we do not have information on outfitters that offer commercial trips on this section.

Wilderness Aware Rafting does not operate trips on the Black Canyon section of the Gunnison River. Information regarding this section on this website is strictly informational. We offer trips on the Gunnison Gorge section. Please click here for a complete list of trips that we offer, or use the search filter to the left. Thanks!

black canyon sections

Gunnison River – Black Canyon Whitewater Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class IV-V (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 6522′ to 5376′
Average Gradient: 80.1′ per mile

Access to Access

East Portal to Chukar Trail: 14.3 miles
Total Mileage: 14.3 miles



What people are saying

  • Lydia filled us with confidence. She was skilled and knowledgeable and explained each set of rapids so we knew what to expect. She was great company and we had the best experience. She was brilliant.

    Dwight W. Rafter
  • I cannot wait to come back! Also loved how funny all the guides were. It was the most I’ve seen my sister laugh in a long time! Thank you so much for this amazing experience.

    Lexi R. Rafter
  • I spent several days researching various rafting options and after speaking w/your team was sold. We were not disappointed-the trip is spectacular and our guide Sean was informative, lively professional and entertaining.

    Lauren C. Rafter


Information for Gunnison River Self-Guided Boaters:

The Gunnison River through the Black Canyon is managed by the U.S. National Park Service.

Please contact the river manager (above) for information on shuttles.

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