The Dye Clan
  • Overview
  • TR: Apr 2012

Gunnison Point Overlook

Rock stairs leading down to the Gunnison Point Overlook.

Gunnison Point is a lookout located behind the visitor center in Black Canyon of the Gunnison Naitonal Park. The short trail takes you on top of a pegmatite dike that sticks out into the canyon.

Trip Report: April 21, 2012


Gunnison Point Overlook at EveryTrail

Gunnison Point Overlook is located directly behind the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park visitor center.

Gunnison Point Overlook
Gunnison Point Overlook

You can see the overlook from the visitor center.

Gunnison Point Overlook

Along the short walk, mica flakes in the rocks sparkle in the sunlight.

Gunnison Point Overlook
Gunnison Point Overlook
Gunnison Point Overlook

Pegmatite Dikes

Over a billion years ago, molten rock was squeezed into fissures forming the light-colored bands which thread Black Canyon's otherwise dark walls. You are standing on one of these bands. As the hot fluid slowly cooled and hardened, minerals formed into crystals. Look closely; you may recognize flecks of mica, feldspar, quartz, and perhaps even garnet.

These bands of lighter colored igneous rock - called pegmatite dikes - are more resistant to erosion than the dark gneisses (sounds like "nice-es") into which they intrude.

Consequently, the pegmatite weathers more slowly than the gneiss. The vertical position of the dikes here, combined with their resistance to weathering, has produced the fin-like appearance of parts of the canyon walls. You will see pegmatite at nearly every overlook.

The pegmatite dike you see across the canyon nearly half a mile away is the same one you are standing on! Imagine the relentless cutting power of the Gunnison River.

Gunnison Point Overlook
Gunnison Point Overlook
Gunnison Point Overlook
Gunnison Point Overlook
Gunnison Point Overlook