Gunnison Gorge Wilderness
Bureau of Land Management, Colorado.
The Gunnison Gorge Wilderness offers a wild and pristine backcountry experience, with its unique black granite and colorful sandstone double-canyon system carved by the Gunnison River. Fourteen miles of the Gunnison River flow through this wilderness area, offering diverse and abundant recreation opportunities. The area, known for its exceptional and challenging whitewater boating, also features world class gold medal trout waters. The Gunnison Gorge Wilderness contains a total of 17,700 acres and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. In 1999, Congress designated the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness, and it became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Visitors can enjoy challenging recreational activities and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. In an age of "...increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization,..." you play an important role in helping to "...secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by Congress in the Wilderness Act of 1964 When visiting public lands, please follow
- Leave No Trace Principles
When visiting designated Wilderness, please follow the wilderness regulations outlined below. Regulations:
Self-issued permits are required in the wilderness (see use fee description for more information and to purchase day use passes online).
Motorized and mechanized modes of travel (bicycles, dirt bikes, side-by-sides, wheeled carts, motorboats, and vehicles) are prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness.
Visitors must sign in at trailheads.
Maximum group size is 12 people.
Maximum length of stay is 3 days/2 nights.
Camping is allowed in the designated sites only along the river, on a first-come, first-served basis. Campsites are NOT reservable in advance.
You may purchase camping permits (cash or check only) at the wilderness trailheads when you arrive by following the instructions on the kiosks.
You may not cut, collect, or use live, dead, or downed wood for campfires. Stoves, grills, and/or firepans with charcoal are required.
Pack out all trash (including coals and ashes) and bring it home with you.
An EPA-approved carry out system is required for human waste. You may not bury human waste in the wilderness.
Dogs are welcomed in the wilderness, under voice or physical control.
To learn more about boating the Gunnison River through the wilderness, refer to Gunnison Gorge River Guide
Always be prepared by carrying a map, compass and GPS, extra water, food, first aid kit, rain gear, and warm clothing. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return, or travel with a group. Be prepared for changing weather. Dial 911 in the event of an emergency, but do not count on cell coverage in all places.
Access roads are primitive, unmaintained, and impassable when wet. Four-wheel-drive, high clearance vehicles are strongly recommended. Roads are not suitable for pull-behind campers or trailers.
A Special Recreation Permit is required for all commercial uses such as outfitters or organized group guided trips where there is a fee charged.
MANAGER GUNNISON GORGE NCA & WILDERNESS: S. Edd Franz
2465 South Townsend Avenue
Montrose, CO 81401
Phone: (970) 240-5300
- Water Activities
- Water Sports
Peach Valley Road provides access to all four Wilderness trailheads - Chukar, Ute, Duncan, and Bobcat. Follow the signs to the Chukar Road turnoff, which leads to the Chukar trailhead. Follow Peach Valley Road north and follow signs to the three other Wilderness trailheads - Ute, Duncan, and Bobcat. Access roads are primitive, unmaintained, and impassable when wet. Four-wheel-drive, high clearance vehicles are strongly recommended. Roads are not suitable for pull-behind campers or trailers.