Warner Point Trail

Difficulty
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Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
2.4 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
124 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Warner Point Trail

Looking for a relaxed hike in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park? The Warner Point Trail is the perfect balance through various Colorado landscapes. Wind through a lush forest and out past a sagebrush and juniper field to a lookout point. This hike is great for adventurers of all skill-levels and families.

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Route Description for Warner Point Trail

The Warner Point Trail is a mild hike in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness. This hike travels through the cliff top forest and through a desert-like meadow before delivering you to a stunning viewpoint. Signposted and well maintained, this hike is easy to navigate. The trail culminates at the lookout on the edge of the Black Canyon. Exercise caution and do not go off trail or approach the canyon’s edge.

We know you will really enjoy this scenic walk on the South Rim. Get your steps in and your legs moving as you traverse this picturesque trail through the quintessential Black Canyon Wilderness scenery. Additionally, there are several lovely benches along the trail to stop and admire the landscape or enjoy your lunch.

Begin this trail from the High Point Parking Lot and Lookout. Take the Warner Point Nature Trail as it guides you west into the lush woodlands. Continue along this path as it opens up to meadows filled with mountain mahogany and juniper. Follow along the trail, taking breaks to admire the amazing vistas as you make your way to the lookout.

Hike this path as it becomes increasingly rocky as you near the lookout. Eventually you will encounter a junction, stay right and descend to the viewpoint. Be cautious of the steep rock ledge at the trail’s culmination. At the lookout, hikers will be rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness.

Warner Point showcases various perspectives of the Colorado landscape. In the east you will have uninterrupted views of the Black Canyon and the Gunnison River. In the south you will enjoy incredible vistas of the snow-dusted San Juan Range, and in the northeast, the stunning West Elk Mountains.

Appreciate the stunning scenic views from the lookout before retracing your steps back to the parking lot.

Trail Highlights

West Elk Mountain Range

Though the West Elk Mountain Range is not found within the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, it is prominently featured from many of the National Parks' vantage points. The West Elk Mountains are a collection of craggy, snow-dusted peaks in the Gunnison National Forest and West Elk Wilderness that can be seen in the northeast from the Warner Point Lookout. The West Elk Peak is the highest of the range and it sits at an elevation of 13,042 ft. The West Elk Mountain Range and the Black Canyon share something in common, the Gunnison River. The Gunnison River also runs along the ridge of the mountain range. Consider hiking in the West Elk Wilderness and the West Elk Peak next time you are in Colorado.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called the Black Canyon of the Gunnison?

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is named for its dark appearance. Due to the narrowness and steepness of the canyon, the walls are often shadowed, making them appear black.

Can I bring my dog on the Warner Point Trail?

No, dogs are not allowed on the Warner Point Trail. This is for their own protection from wildlife, and to safeguard the fragile environments.

Getting to the Warner Point Trail Trailhead

Begin from the High Point Lookout Parking Lot at the end of the South Rim Road. Seasonal Road Closure November-April. National Park passes are required and can be purchased at the park gateways.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    May-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Warner Point Trail Elevation Graph

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