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More of Don's
photo series.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison--Kneeling Camel

What's the difference between a national park and a national monument? National parks are generally bigger and more significant than national monuments, for one thing. National parks are established by Congress, while national monuments can be established by the president. Often the first step is creating the national monument; national park status comes later. There are also national recreation areas, which are similar but have a dam or other significant man-made artifacts; national recreation areas also are sometimes in the Forest Service rather than the Park Service. A few national monuments are also in the Forest Service, unfortunately in my opinion.

Kneeling Camel closer up

The North Rim Road goes right up to the rim of the canyon; that's where the real scenery is. This is from the same viewpoint as the photo above, only this one is zoomed in. You can see the formation called "Kneeling Camel" in both shots.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Another shot on the same road. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a new national park, although it was a National Monument for many years. It is developed mainly for hikers and rafters, not so much just for sightseeing. But what you can see from the road is spectacular indeed.

This next shot is from the highest point on the road from Delta to US 50, with Curecanti National Recreation Area below.

Curecanti National Recreation Area

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