Trailhead: Visitor Center Parking Lot (South Rim)
Activities: Hiking, Camping
Closest City / Town: Montrose, Colorado
Hiking Distance: 2.0 miles (roundtrip)
Description: The Oak Flat Loop Trail is a great trail for just about any hiker. It is relatively short, easy to follow, and offers superb glimpses into the heart of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. However, you should be cautions while traversing the trail along a limited number of steep pitches. Please note that pets are not allowed on this trail.
The trail commences on the west side of the visitor’s center. Initially, the trail descends to a signed junction. Hang a left and continue along the Oak Flat Loop (taking a right will actually lead you down to the bottom of the canyon). Next, the trail begins to head uphill as it courses its way to the west. Finally, the trail will loop back around to the east. Be sure to revel in the marvelous views on the return route.
Worth Noting: The Views!!!
The Painted Wall of the Black Canyon is the highest cliff in Colorado; from the river up to the rim it stands 2250 feet. The Black Canyon is 53 miles long, although the national park is only 14 miles long.
There are a number of developed camping spots nearby. However, camping costs $12/night, and it is recommended that you make reservations during the summer.