View from the lookout at the visitors center to the bottom of Black Canyon.

What an incredible view! Jordan and I peered over the edge of the lookout and while we were in absolute awe, we were also a little sick to our stomachs. 2000 feet is A. LONG. WAY. DOWN! As I was taking pictures, I was praying that I didn’t drop the camera to its certain death.

We camped just outside the park on BLM Friday night and it was a typically Colorado spring night. It was sunny, then it rained. Then it was sunny, windy and then it hailed and snowed. It cleared up again and was sunny and windy before we went to bed. We woke up to just shy of 3″ of snow in the morning. That’s about par for the course around here.

A few of the treasures the boys found while exploring around our camp site.

Jordan missed some of the crazy weather Friday afternoon because he ran back into town. It was our first night in the new (to us) travel trailer where we didn’t have power and we learned, when I flipped on the water pump, that our battery was dead. It had been on our “To-Do” List because we knew it wasn’t in great condition, but it kept getting put on the back burner. Our middle boy is all about Dad so he and Jordan ran to a local golf cart shop to pick up batteries.

We opted for two 6 volt batteries instead of a one 12 volt. You tie them together in a series and get a total of 12 from the circuit, but you get a greater battery life. The 6 volts can be run down to 20% charge instead the 50% that’s ideal for the 12 volt. When you are boondocking, the extra 30% is HUGE. We use power sparsely and opted not to have a slide in the new TT, in part, because it was just one more thing to run because we want to be able to be off grid for as long as possible. A 6 volt battery has a longer life span (is good for more charges) than the 12 volt. Here’s a quick video from that explains it a bit better than I can if you wan’t more information.

We camped about a mile from the park (I wouldn’t call it the best boondocking spot for a trailer. If you have a truck or tent there are some beautiful spots!) There were only a couple places that we could get any trailer, let alone a 29′ but we did. While the weather was clear, on Friday evening, we jumped in the truck and went into the park for a few minutes. We were only about a mile from the south rim of the park. There are multiple viewing points to see the Canyon from both sides. The canyon is massive. We didn’t stick around long because it was getting windier so we went back to The Camper House for dinner. I’m glad we ran up when we did because it’s fun to see the contrast in our photos from Friday night to Saturday morning after the weather moved in.

Our view on Friday evening

We woke up to the snow and also a local race. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m not one for running and certainly not for running five miles up a hill AND in the SNOW! We eventually made our way to the visitors center to stamp the boys passport books and pick up their Junior Ranger books (I know I’ve talked about both a couple times so I’ll get a more detailed post about them in the next week or so.) The visitors centers are usually pretty good and Black Canyon was no exception. The had a couple stations with hands on activities for the kids. Go figure the scat molds were their favorite. Maybe I just expect it because I’m a boy mom? After we explored inside and warmed up we ventured down the trail to the overlook. The first picture is the view over the edge. I’m not afraid of heights, but peering over was definitely eerie.

The big boys exploring the scat molds. The giant pile in E’s hand is from a bear.

The big boys completed their books to earn their badges and we even picked up Night Explorer books to complete and bring back for patches.

Working on his Junior Ranger book after exploring the canyon.

The trip was a blast. It was great to finally get off grid again. The weather wasn’t perfect, but we don’t let that stop our exploring or our fun. We have already planned a couple trips back to the canyon later this season. We’ll be taking the Night Explorer book back for their patches as well as observing the change in the canyon life during different seasons.

If you haven’t visited Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the park is beyond unique and worth the stop. If you have what were your favorite spots to view and explore? Did you visit the north or south rim?