As the river runs through the canyon it drops at a rate of 95' per mile. This alone gives it the energy to cut through the rock faster than natural erosion can widen the canyon.
Because there is no accommodation in the park most visitors drive along the rim of the canyon and take short hikes to view points overlooking the canyon walls.
We are fortunate that we have a travel trailer and can spend as much as a week there. There is plenty to do. There is an excellent visitor center, every day there are ranger talks at various vantage points along the rim, hikes along the rim and into the sagebrush country. Each evening the rangers give talks on a wide range of topics relating to the canyon and its exploration in the early 1900s. This year we enjoyed a talk on astronomy; this is the place to see the milky way. During the presentation that evening we saw the space station pass overhead.
The fishing is pretty good too. The Gunnison is a Gold Medal River for anyone who knows anything about fly fishing. However, the river is not easy to get to. The easiest hike is down the Gunnison Trail, where the hiker must negotiate a drop of 1800' over incredibly difficult terrain. David was very keen to do this hike to get to that fishing. Before heading out we had to spend time with the ranger looking at photographs of the unmarked trail. Prepare for self rescue. Was I crazy to be doing this!
Half the time I was on by bottom, slipping and sliding down the scree.
At one point there is an 80' chain to help the hiker. We only met 5 other people that day. All were from Europe!
Eventually we reached the river and while David fished I sat on the bank and enjoyed the scenery. Then it was time for the return trip. I can honestly say it was the hardest uphill I have ever done. At one point we were stopping every few feet to catch our breath and rest our weary legs.
See that pained look on my face. I felt as though I was climbing Everest. For the next 3 days if I crouched down I couldn't get up.
This year I told David I wasn't going down again but he was determined to go. The draw of the brown trout was just too much to pass up. I bid him farewell at 9am at the start of the trail and off he went. When he came back at 5pm he told me he was never going again- but that's another story!