Oak Flat Nature Trail, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
The Oak Flat Nature Trail is anything but flat. This moderate trail dips down 400 ft. below the Canyon's rim. Along the way it passes the Gunnison Route, a super-strenous "trail" down to the bottom of this 2,000 ft. gorge. It passes rocky outcropping that give awesome views down into the canyon and back to the Visitor Center perched on a cliff.
Scenery: 4 Stars
Length: 2 mile loop
The trail heads down a short spur before reaching the trail junction. The right fork is the way that is usually taken. The trail switchbacks down steeply through aspens and pines. On one switchback, you pass the Gunnison Route. Soon, the views open up to the right. You can scramble out on some boulders for a different view of the canyon.
Visitor Center View
After the boulder pile, the trail will gradually ascend through pines and cross a small ravine on a narrow log bridge. The trail makes a switchback up and crosses the small ravine again. The trail then crosses rolling sagebrush uplands that ocasinally give views of the Visitor Center. The trail descends over rocky ledges in a clearing before rejoining the spur.