Black Canyon of the Gunnison from Exclamation Point
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Despite the crowds, the view of Painted Wall from the southern rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, CO is incredible. Even more incredible, though, is taking the several hour drive to the almost vacant north rim, then hiking the 1.5-miles (one-way) out to Exclamation Point along the North Vista Trail. Then you're on top of the Painted Wall, looking back at the crowds on the other side. Be sure to wave at them, as they stand behind their protective barrier: At over 2,000-feet vertical drop, you're standing atop the highest cliff in Colorado--without a fence! After you've finished admiring the best view of Black Canyon of the Gunnison in the entire park, be sure to continue your hike up to the top of Green Mountain (7-miles total from the North Rim Ranger Station, roundtrip). This image of my son, Curtis, and me was taken in August 2006 when we hiked the trail to Green Mountain.