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Long Draw (Gulch)

Extremely Difficult

Trail

1.8 mile 2.9 kilometer loop
53% Runnable
Extremely Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,422' 433 m
Descent: -1,422' -433 m
High: 7,779' 2,371 m
Low: 6,357' 1,938 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 30% (16°)
Max Grade: 151% (57°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Tom Robson

Get up close and personal with 'The Narrows' of Black Canyon.

Tom Robson

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Permits are required to enter this route. They are passed out the morning-of at any Ranger Station.

Campfires are not permitted.

Poison ivy is present here. Wear long pants!

Overview

Formerly called "Devil's Slide", this route takes users from the North Rim of Black Canyon to just above The Narrows, one of the tightest sections of the canyon.

Need to Know

This trail is incredibly steep and is strewn with loose, ever-changing rock cover. Watch your step. Additionally, there are rock ledges that must be navigated on this route. Some are over 8' in height.

There is one tent pad large enough for a 2-person tent. If you're planning on bringing more than one tent, either be prepared to really squish on this spot, or bring some hammocks to string up in the trees.

Bring your fishing rod and license, and see if the fish are biting!

Runner Notes

This route would be impossible to run. Trust me.

Description

From the parking area for Balanced Rock Trail, take the road east to the top of the draw. Here, you'll see a warning sign for the route, which marks the start of your epic journey.

If you're doing this as an overnight, Day 1 is a piece of cake. I would recommend starting either early in the day, or in the late afternoon due to the intense sun this route is exposed to.

From the get-go, the route dives into dense foliage and you may have to bushwhack a fair amount. After you break out of this first section of foliage, the trail intermittently dives in and out of tree cover, which becomes less dense the closer you get to the bottom.

Near the bottom (at a large boulder, hard to miss; there are a lot of large boulders), you'll see a spot for your tent.

Throughout this run, there are two looming and growing presences; the Gunnison River and the Canyon walls themselves. Obviously, the closer you get to the river, the greater its thundering gets. Like the river, the size and scope of the canyon walls also grow larger. You truly have to see them to believe their immensity.

Once you've taken the time to enjoy this area, return the way that you came to get back to your vehicle and the top of the canyon.

Flora & Fauna

We saw quite a few Indian Paintbrush flowers.

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Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 5 votes

#2

in North Rim

#1179

Overall
  4.8 from 5 votes
5 Star
80%
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20%
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Run Rankings

#2

in North Rim

#211

in Colorado

#1,179

Overall
35 Views Last Month
2,907 Since May 30, 2016
Extremely Difficult

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Photos

The view at the bottom of Long Draw looking east to Island Peaks.
May 31, 2016 near Montrose, CO
About to drop into Long Draw.
May 31, 2016 near Montrose, CO
The MIGHTY Gunnison River.
May 31, 2016 near Montrose, CO
Looking across Long Draw to the far side of the canyon.
Jun 19, 2016 near Montrose, CO
Inside Long Draw Route.
Oct 24, 2017 near Montrose, CO
Looking back up the draw, just above one of the route's most technical spots.
May 31, 2016 near Montrose, CO

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