Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument was promoted to National Park status in 1999. There are two primary entrances to the park: the south rim entrance is located 15 miles east of Montrose, while the north rim entrance is 11 miles south of Crawford and is closed in the winter. The park contains 12 miles of the 48-mile long Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. The national park itself contains the deepest and most dramatic section of the canyon, but the canyon continues upstream into Curecanti National Recreation Area and downstream into Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. The canyon’s name owes itself to the fact that parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day. The shear depth of the canyon is incredible and although very different is just as magnificent a sight as the Grand Canyon in its own unique way.