This is the most popular route, however it is still very strenuous. This route is recommended to persons attempting their first inner-canyon hike. An 80 foot chain is located 1/3 of the way down. This route begins at the South Rim Visitor Center.
Follow the Oak Flat Trail for 1/3 mile, down the first few switchbacks. You will come to a sign that says, "River Access. Permit Required." Continue the steep descent to the chain down the drainage. An outhouse and campsites are located a short distance upstream. Permits, required for all inner canyon activities (including day hikes, climbing, camping and kayaking), are free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, 102 Elk Creek
, Gunnison, CO, 81230, Phone: 970-641-2337