Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, 30,300 acres (12,272 hectares), W central Colorado, in the Rocky Mts. The park embraces the most spectacular stretch of the 53-mi (85-km) long Black Canyon, which is named for the sheer, dark-colored walls carved by the unspoiled Gunnison River. The narrow canyon is so deep (as much as 2,660 ft/811 m) that its bottom is in the shadows for most of the day. At the bottom, ancient Proterozoic rocks are exposed wildlife in the park includes black bears, cougars, bobcats, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and swifts. The area was designated a national monument in 1933 and became a national park in 1999.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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