Cast Your Line in Montrose, the Gateway to the Black Canyon

Just outside Montrose, Colo., canyon walls plunge an awe-inspiring 2,700 feet to the Gunnison River below and create a haven for fishing and boating.
Fishing in the Gunnison River at the bottom of the Black Canyon. Photo by Jeremy Matlock courtesy of Montrose

Fishing in the Gunnison River at the bottom of the Black Canyon. Photo by Jeremy Matlock courtesy of Montrose

The Gunnison River offers world-class fishing and boating.

Just 13 miles from the heart of downtown, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park’s dramatic walls are stunning, as are the night skies where thousands of stars and the Milky Way light up the night.

And if you are angling for more, the stretch of the Gunnison River that runs through the park is designated “gold-medal water and wild-trout water” by the state’s wildlife commission. It’s no coincidence that some of the biggest names in fly-fishing gear—Ross Reels and Scott Fly Rods—are headquartered in Montrose.

In town, the Montrose Water Sports Park on the Uncompahgre River offers fun for kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders, as well as for spectators on the banks. On July 22, 2017, the town hosts its third annual Fun on the Uncompahgre “FUNC” Fest, featuring competitions for kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders. And there are plenty of land-based activities for families.

“It’s pretty cool,” says Kelly Rhoderick, marketing coordinator for the city’s business and tourism office. “You always see pictures of people on stand-up paddleboards in calm water, but at FUNC you see people on them going around buoys and waves.”

Stop by the Montrose Visitor Center, 107 South Cascade Ave., where a concierge and eight interactive touch screens can help you plan your next adventure. The visitor center loans out cruiser bikes for free, so explore this town on two wheels.

The Painted Wall in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

The Painted Wall in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park by the Numbers


Cost of backcountry permit


Temperature of the Gunnison River


Number of feet high poison ivy is in the inner canyon


Height in feet of the narrow canyon walls


Year it became a national monument


Year it became a national park

For more information:
Montrose Visitor Center
(855) 497-8558
107 South Cascade Ave, Montrose, CO

Download the Montrose Visitors Guide


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