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Cedar Point Nature Trail

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado

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Cedar Point Nature Trail

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  • Looking south along the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the Gunnison River.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • The unique markings of the Painted Wall, a portion of the northern wall of Black Canyon of the Gunnison.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • Singleleaf ash.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • The Gambel oak, also known as a dwarf oak.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • Foliage of the Gambel oak.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • The cliffs of Black Canyon plummet several thousand feet to the canyon floor.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • The Utah juniper.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • Mountain mahogany.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • Utah juniper.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • Yucca.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • Fruit of the yucca.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • Sage.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • The aromatic sage.- Cedar Point Nature Trail
  • - Cedar Point Nature Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Dramatic canyon vista. Interpretive signs.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Along the northern and southern rims of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, viewpoints and short nature trails dot the cliffs of the vertiginous southwestern canyon. Cedar Point Nature Trail is one of the few that contains more than the perfunctory overlook.

While this trail is less than a quarter mile long, hikers will find numerous interpretive signs that detail aspects of the Black Canyon ecosystem, in particular its main plant inhabitants. One of the most common plants in Black Canyon of the Gunnison is the Gambel oak, or dwarf oak, the acorns of which were an important food supply for local Native American inhabitants. The Utah juniper also grows here, some species aged older than 200 years. The ubiquitous sagebrush gives the air the signature Western aroma. In addition to these, there are several other interpretive signs that detail other species like serviceberry and mountain mahogany, the distant mountain ranges to the north, and the geological forces that carve the side canyons.

At the end of the trail, pause to overlook the southern reaches of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the heart-pounding drop-offs.

For those driving along the South Rim Road, the Cedar Point Nature Trail is a recommended stop for anyone interested in the plant biology of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

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