Round Trip Distance: .3 miles
Elevation: 7890 - 7954 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Usage: Hiking - Dogs
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Cross Fissures
Attractions: Scenic canyon
View Black Canyon Cross Fissures in a larger map
The Cross Fissures trail is located within the South Rim section of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The trail is one of a half dozen or so short trails along the Rim Drive Road that lead to overlooks on the rim of the canyon. Each overlook trail is a little different from the others with new and unique views of the canyon. By the time you hike them all you will feel like you have put in a good and rewarding day of hiking.
This is a very short hike but the views of the canyon and rock spires are incredible.
The hike through the brush to the overlook at the edge of the rim is a pleasantly easy task.
There are many flowers in the springtime like these woolly groundsel.
You can't help wondering if anyone has ever been on top of some of these rock outcrops.
The deep crevices in the rock, caused by faulting, are also called fissures. The white bands are pegmatite dikes. The dikes are igneous intrusions of super heated water that contained dissolved minerals of feldspar, quartz and muscovite. This all took place when the Precambrian era gneiss was deep within the earth millions of years ago. Inner earth is definitely not a very hospitable place to be.
There is a second small overlook that provides a different view of the canyon and some very rough looking cliffs.
A lot has changed in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in the last 50 years. The road was nothing more than dirt at one time with corners in places that were so sharp you had to pull forward on them and then drive in reverse to the next switchback where you could drive forward again. Some of the overlooks were a bit more scary back then also. Of course, 50 years ago most of the roads going anywhere around here were unpaved. Today the park has most all of the upgrades that one would expect. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.