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black canyon

of the gunnison

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38.5º N, 107.7º W

The Black is best enjoyed in spring or fall when the nights are clear and cool and the days are warm with temps ranging from mid 60s to high 70s.

come experience the magic of the black

“Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky” [NPS]. Are you looking to take your rock climbing to the next level?  Then come climb with San Juan Expeditions in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by The Black.

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1:1 – $480

2:1 – $280pp

1:1 (grade III+) – $600

2:1 (grade III+) – $370pp 


  • AMGA trained/certified guide
  • Federal Land Use Surcharge (USFS/BLM)
  • Rock climbing equipment (shoes, helmet, harness)


  • Guide gratuity
  • Food / snacks for the day
  • Personal clothing (check out our recommended GEAR LIST)


    Some of the classic climbs accessed via the North Rim are Maiden Voyage (5.9), Casual route (5.8), Casually off route (5.9), Leisure Route (5.9 R), Russian Arete IV (5.9), Escape Artist (5.10-), Comic Relief (5.10), Journey Home IV (5.9), and the ultra classic Scenic Cruise V (5.10).


    Up to 2:1 climber to guide ratio


    • Climbers should be in good physical condition and have experience following 5.10 multi-pitch climbs.
    • Consider doing a warm up day with our guides in Aspen or Durango prior!
    • Your guide will reach out to you before your scheduled outing to make a plan for your day(s).


    Please familiarize yourself with our Booking & Cancellation policies.


    Anyone participating in our programs must fill out a Waiver beforehand. If you are under 18, please have parent/guardian complete.