Most people can tell you when and where they saw their first bald eagle. A few people in history have claimed to see the mythical and beautiful unicorn, but we all know they aren’t real, right?
Most people can tell you to the day when they saw the Grand Canyon or Old Faithful. A few people have claimed to set foot on Isle Royale, walked the paths of Great Basin, hiked Chaco Canyon or found the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
The National Park unicorns. Like your favorite indie band, they are unheard of and unknown. Precisely why you like them, because when you are there, they are only yours.
A friend of mine is going to find a unicorn this summer. It made my heart glad. Find your bald eagles. Their majestic, stately and soaring flight won’t disappoint. But seek the unicorns. If you find them, they will be yours and yours alone.
NPS photo by Lisa Lynch. What an imagination!
I think the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is somewhere in Colorado. (The first rule of unicorn hunting is to never reveal the true location. It’s kinda like morel hunting.) Don’t take it from me, I’ve never been there…. even if I had, I wouldn’t tell. 🙂
Would you believe there is great wildlife watching opportunities at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison? Marmot? Bighorn Sheep? Black Bear? Elk? Mountain Lion? Bobcat? Golden Eagles? Peregrine Falcons? Snakes? Lizards? Salamanders? They release them from their cages for you to see around dawn and dusk each day. 🙂
The Gunnison River is one of the steepest rivers in North America. It anonymously drops 95 feet per mile. At chasm view, the river drops 240 feet per mile! The Colorado drops 7.5 feet per mile. The Gunnison flowed 5 times faster before it was dammed. That’s what happens when the guys with the money find the unicorns before the hippies do. Another reason why your search is an important one. One of these reservoirs offer a scenic boat tour (Morrow Point). A park ranger will guide you seven miles into the cliffs of the canyon and beguile with stories of yesteryear.
The painted wall is the tallest cliff in Colorado. It’s in Breck… no it’s in Rocky Mountain National Park. I guess all the other cliffs I have seen are imposters!
I hear the “hikes” to the river are some of the most difficult and remote descents in Colorado. Supposedly there is poison ivy that grows to five feet tall. And it gets hotter the closer you get to the river. Better stick to the trails along the north and south rim. The north rim has longer, more strenuous (but scenic) hikes.
Three scenic roads will get you where you want to go. Allow 2 to 3 hours for the north rim (dirt road) and south rim roads (each). The east portal road leads to the river, but has hairpin turns and 16% grades. A perfect place to test your rental car!
Take lots of pictures and video of your unicorn. Don’t worry, show them to me. I will believe you. I have seen a few unicorns in my day! Take notes and share them with me… I’d love to hear your fiction!
Just for fun, this post is brought to you by Eddie Vedder. Enjoy.