Black Canyon of the Gunnison Np Red Rock Canyon Wilderness Permits

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Red Rock Canyon is located in designated Wilderness on the southwest side of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It is a popular destination for anglers. Hikers also enjoy this route as an alternative to the steeper routes in other parts of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness. The route is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) one-way and gradually drops 1,300 vertical feet (396 m) to the Gunnison River. Access is by wilderness use permit only. 

The first mile of the route follows a double-track road from a small parking lot to the trailhead. The route continues into Red Rock Canyon along a shallow creek. Numerous stream crossings may be necessary and can make finding the route a challenge. The route is not marked or maintained. Poison ivy is prolific along the lower section of the route. Hikers are expected to find their own way and should not expect to be rescued. While descending the route observe your surroundings carefully--this will make the return easier. Upon approaching the Gunnison River, campsites will become visible upstream and downstream.

Leave no trace principles apply to Red Rock Canyon in addition to National Park Service regulations. Pack out all trash including human waste. Human waste collection (WAG) bags are available at the trailhead (or bring your own). Only one car is allowed per group. You must display your permit number on the dashboard of the vehicle – this is your parking pass. The $30 vehicle entrance fee for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is required for entry; Federal Interagency and Black Canyon annual passes are acceptable.

Notifications and Alerts

Permit & Season Information

Red Rock Canyon wilderness permits allow the permitholder and group to access Red Rock Canyon for hiking, fishing and camping during designated times. The 2024 season for Red Rock Canyon is May 1 - October 31 (exact dates may vary each year). 

For 2024, Red Rock Canyon permits will open in two reservation windows:

Permits must be printed (or downloaded) within 7 days of trip start date. Once printed, no further modifications can be made to permit. Access and release dates may change in future years.

Need to Know

Fee Policy

Cancellation Policy

No refunds or changes are allowed. Although there are no refunds, if you have purchased a permit but will not be able to use it, please cancel your reservation so those spots can be made available for another user. 

Contact Information

Mailing Address

102 Elk Creek Rd Gunnison CO 81230

or email:

Phone Number


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