About the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area

Stewarded by Colorado Canyons Association

Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, just north of Montrose, Colorado, is a diverse landscape ranging from adobe badlands to rugged piñon and juniper-covered slopes. At the heart of the NCA lies the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness Area (17,784 acres), which encompasses a spectacular black granite and red sandstone double canyon formed by the Gunnison River. The area’s 14-mile stretch of the Gunnison River provides technical (class II-IV) and remote boating experiences to rafters, kayakers and whitewater canoeists. The river is also designated a Gold Medal Trout Fishery by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The NCA contains a number of prehistoric and historic sites, including rock art, cabins, campsites, and mines, many of which are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The NCA lies next to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and the region is known for mule deer, elk herds and many other wildlife species, including a small population of Gunnison Sage Grouse, a rare species.

From the blog

  • 08.12.16

    Ready, set, …RMP!

    Inspiring people to stay involved in the development of a Resource Management Plan (RMP) can be one of the toughest—and most important—undertakings for conservation groups in the Friends Grassroots Network. Staff and volunteers with the Western Slope Conservation Center recently organized an RMP Info + Action Meeting in Paonia, CO, … read more

  • 03.30.16

    Guest Blog: National Conservation Areas Offer a Vision for Colorado’s Grand Valley

    Having grown-up in the southeast, surrounded by mostly private land or pay-to-play recreation opportunities, I can vividly remember the first time I rode Rustler’s, Mary’s Loop, Horsethief Bench, and Steve’s Loop back in 2008. Those springtime pedal strokes ushered in more than just miles of smiles. They brought with them … read more

  • 12.9.13

    Successful Step for Colorado’s North Fork Valley

    Marking a huge milestone in an 18-month organizing effort, Western Slope Conservation Center and an array of local stakeholders in the Paonia, CO region have successfully asked the local BLM office to analyze and include their “North Fork Alternative” in the region’s Resource Management Plan (RMP) process. BLM staff agreed … read more

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