Gunnison Gorge Wilderness

Bureau of Land Management, Colorado.

The Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area encompasses Gunnison Gorge Wilderness, Flat Top-Peach Valley, and Gunnison River Recreation Area. The river cuts a wide path through the breathtaking sandstone and black granite canyon. The area, known for its exceptional and challenging whitewater boating, also features world class gold medal trout waters. The upland desert landscape of the Flat Top-Peach Valley area provide outstanding off-highway vehicle riding for enthusiasts. Visitors to Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area can also check out cultural resources, including prehistoric rock art and historic mines.

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 Gunnison Gorge Wilderness now contains a total of 17,700 acres and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. All of the Wilderness is in the state of Colorado. In 1999 the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness became part of the now over 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. In wilderness, you 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 " 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. Please follow the regulations in place for this area, and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting to ensure protection of its unique natural and experiential qualities. For more information, contact the Gunnison Gorge NCA or Uncompahgre Field Office.

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply.

Leave No Trace principles:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles (including OHVs), motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation. In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the agency for more information about regulations.

Contact Information:

2505 South Townsend Avenue
Montrose, CO 81401
Phone: (970) 240-5309
Fax: (970) 240-5368

Nearby Activities


The Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area (NCA) is located about seven miles northeast of Montrose in west central Colorado, just downstream from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park It encompasses approximately 57,725 acres of public lands in Montrose and Delta counties. Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area is accessible via multiple routes leading from Delta and Montrose.

The Gunnison Gorge NCA/Wilderness is located approximately 50 miles south of Grand Junction and just east off U.S. HWY 50 near the Town of Olathe. Falcon Road, east off HWY 50, about 10 miles north of Montrose and just south of Olathe, provides access from the north and southwest.

Delta County Road 2200, approximately 10 miles east of Delta on Colorado Highway 92 near Austin, also provides access to the NCA from the north. Follow the signs to Peach Valley Road and continue down Peach Valley until you come to the Chukar Road turnoff. Peach Valley also provides access to three other Wilderness trails - the Ute, Duncan, and Bobcat trails.

The northern end of the NCA can be acessed from the BLM Gunnison Forks Day Use Area located approximately 13 miles east of Delta. Look for the Gunnison Forks/Pleasure Park sign and paved County Road 28.10 south of Colorado Highway 92.

Additional Information

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