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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park might be one of the most underrated parks in the country. While the Grand Canyon to the southwest gets all the attention, Black Canyon of the Gunnison gets relatively little traffic despite its geological splendor. At its deepest, the canyon walls are over 2,200 feet high, yet the distance between them is sometimes so small that light rarely reaches the bottom and makes the walls appear black. The town of Montrose lies near the southern rim of the canyon and is the closest year-round entrance to the park. To access the north rim of the canyon, you’ll need to take an hour-long trip towards Crawford.
Montrose/Black Canyon National Park KOA is one of the best places to stay with an RV rental when you’re exploring the canyon. Not only does the KOA offer easy access to the national park's splendid beauty, but it also has full hookups with 50 amp electrical service, a swimming pool, a hot tub, and a dog park for walking your four-legged pal. The RV park is just outside Montrose’s downtown area, so you’ll never need to go far for fun or supplies when RV camping at the KOA.
Montrose campers will be amazed by the sheer volume of outdoor activities to get involved in when staying at the RV campground. The San Juan Mountains are just next door and offer a plethora of excellent hiking opportunities. There’s also the nearby Uncompahgre River, which is perfect for fly-fishing. Prefer to hit the links when you’re RV camping? There are a couple of outstanding golf courses in Montrose or right outside it.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is undoubtedly the star of the show for outdoor adventure when camping at Montrose/Black Canyon National Park KOA. One of the more popular activities in the park is to hike along the south rim of the canyon, where you’ll get some spectacular vistas into its mighty black maw. A more strenuous option for seasoned hikers and climbers is to take one of the narrow, and often unmarked, trails down to the water’s edge. Just be sure you save enough strength to go back up.
While the Gunnison River might look exciting when you’re hiking through the park, it should be noted that it’s one of the fastest flowing waterways in the U.S. and may not be suitable for most paddlers. Instead, try the Montrose Water Sports Park. It’s anything but the water slides and wave pool setup that the name might suggest. It’s actually a section of the river that’s been set up for kayaking. The more controlled environment and easy access mean that mistakes will be less costly and you’re more likely to have a fun day out.
If you just want to stop and smell the (native) flowers, there’s the Montrose Botanic Gardens on the southeast side of town. A walk through the gardens will probably only take half an hour or so, but you’ll get to see dozens of plant species that are endemic to this part of Colorado; so sit on the benches and take in their rugged beauty.
Though the main reason to book an RV in Montrose County is visiting the park, the town of Montrose has a number of great attractions too. If you enjoy history, your first stop should be the Museum of the Mountain West. The museum is set up to look like a town from the late 19th century, complete with a general store, dentist’s office, and stable. Inside of each of them is a vast collection of artifacts from the period. If you want to get an accurate history of the Wild West era, this is one of the best places in Colorado to learn about it.
If that’s not enough for you, there’s also the Ute Indian Museum that focuses more on the Native American perspective of the Wild West days along with their earlier history. The museum is rather small, but it packs a lot into that a tiny space to explain the rich cultural traditions of this tribe that is not very well known to tourists outside the Mountain West states.
For a little bit of culture during your motorhome camping adventure, plan for an evening with the Magic Circle Players. The community theater group puts on a fantastic show with a season that runs from autumn through the spring. Some of the performances are classic material, but many are pure Colorado and are sure to entertain you when you're visiting with an RV rental near Montrose/Black Canyon National Park KOA.