An untouched river running through a hidden canyon
Gunnison National Park, Colorado
In one of America’s least visited national parks, a spectacle of imposing stone walls stands up the sheerest, narrowest, and darkest canyon you have ever seen. At its base, you will find the ultra-green Gunnison River where adventurers find their niche. Impassioned anglers cast lines in search of trout and salmon in a scene of peaceful solitude. With protection from the high canyons blocking intense Rocky Mountain winds, it is an epic place for photographers to capture perfect reflection shots. And, there is just something really special about taking in the canyon views from this low-to-the-ground vantage point.
There are only two ways to get there: You can tackle a harrowing hike starting from the top of the canyon (appropriate for experienced outdoorsman); or head down the 16% grade East Portal Road by car, accessible from the South Rim. Whichever way you choose to get there, expect to find great fishing, hiking, and camping areas in the Curecanti National Recreation Area, operated by the US National Park Service.