Hike to Tomichi Point and Gunnison Point Overlooks

Colorado Rim Rock Trail, Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Added by Kim Morris

This easy hike will give you an intoxicating look down the sheer walls of the Black Canyon to the Gunnison River.

To access the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, take US 50 and CO 347 to the south entrance, 15 miles east of Montrose. There is no bridge between the north and south rims of the canyon - make sure you enter from the Montrose side.

After passing through the entrance station, follow signs to the South Rim Campground. The Rim Rock trailhead is just off of Loop C. If you are camping you can leave your car at your campsite. If you are just hiking, there is a small parking area at the trailhead and at the camping registration station. The trail is clearly marked. No permit is needed.

The Rim Rock Trail can be an out-and-back or a loop if you combine it with the Uplands Trail. The Rim Rock Trail begins in a Gamble Oak thicket. Shortly after you enter the thicket you will see a trail sign for the Uplands Trail to the left. Go forward to stay on the Rim Rock Trail.

Once you exit the oak thicket, the eye popping views begin. In about half a mile, you will arrive at Tomichi Point. This is an excellent spot to take a little break and enjoy the view down the south expanse of the Black Canyon. Look closely at those sheer walls - the Gunnison River has taken 2 million years to carve out this amazing view.

In another half of a mile you will reach the South Rim Visitor Center. This is a good place to fill up your water bottle, chat with the helpful & informative rangers or catch a movie on how the Canyon came to be. Make sure to ask the rangers about the 1901 expedition where Abraham Lincoln Fellows and William Torrence floated the Gunnison River on rubber mattresses. When you look down at the river, you will appreciate their bravery. While at the Visitor Center you can also walk out the back or side door to the Gunnision Point Overlook for a grand view up and down the canyon.

From the Gunnison Overlook it's your choice if you want to make it a loop or out-and-back. If you want to make it a loop: Follow the signs to the Uplands Trail for a walk through Gamble Oak away from the canyon rim. If you want to make it an out-and-back: Retrace your steps and return to the campground. The distance will be relatively the same no matter what you choose.

If you are lucky enough to be camping at the South Rim CG, crack open a beverage, kick back and enjoy!

Pack List

  • Water
  • Light Snacks or lunch
  • 10 Essentials
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Circular Polarizer
  • ND Filters
  • Tripod
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

2 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic

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How to Get There

about 1 year ago

Unlike anything you'll ever see

I grew up in this area and the Black Canyon will forever be one of my favorite places on this earth. It truly is a hidden gem. I've hiked, gone snowshoeing, and fishing in this area and I would highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.

about 1 year ago

Added by Kim Morris

A photog with a must-see list that doesn't end. A perpetual road tripper. My batteries are charged, SD cards are cleared, and I am ready for the next adventure.

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