10-11 APRIL: BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK

One of the systems newest and least visited NPs, Black Canyon preserves a unique canyon – deeper than it is wide.  This makes photography difficult from the rim with much of the canyon in deep shadow.  The weather the afternoon I arrived at the south rim was a mix of sun, clouds, and a few thunderstorms.  The following morning provided for a short period of relatively good sunrise light on the Painted Wall – an approximately 2300’ rock face.

Painted Wall Sunrise. Nikon D300, Nikon 17-35mm, Singh Ray warming polarizer, Gitzo tripod, Kirk BH-3 ballhead. (c)Chuck Lockett Photography.

By the time I arrived at the north rim – maybe 1000’ away but a 2 hour drive to get there – the weather deteriorated into snow squalls and limited visibility.

Narrows Snow Squall. Nikon D300, Nikon 17-35mm, Singh Ray warming polarizer, Hand Held. (c)Chuck Lockett Photography

Balanced Rock Snow Squall. Nikon D300, Nikon 17-35mm, Singh Ray warming polarizer. Hand Held. (c)Chuck Lockett Photography

Like many of the NPs, the campground at Black Canyon has been frequented by Black Bears – food must be secured in vehicles or in the bear boxes.  What I had not seen at other parks was the recommendation not to cook within arm’s length – I assume a bear had swiped supper right from the pot at one point or another?

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