Arches National Park vs Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Feel Free To Share:

Arches National Park and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are two of the most unique and awe-inspiring national parks in the United States. While both parks offer visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of the American West, they each have their own distinct characteristics that make them truly one of a kind. Arches National Park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the iconic Delicate Arch. The park is a playground for hikers, photographers, and anyone looking to experience the beauty of the desert. On the other hand, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offers a completely different experience, showcasing one of the deepest and most dramatic canyons in North America, with steep cliffs and narrow gorges that drop as much as 2,700 feet. If you are looking for a vacation that will satisfy your desire for adventure, beauty and natural wonder, these two parks are a must-see destination.

Hiking Trails in Arches National Park and Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Arches National Park offers a variety of hiking trails that range from easy to strenuous. Some of the easiest hikes include the Park Avenue Trail, a 1.5-mile round trip hike that takes visitors through a narrow canyon with towering red rock walls on either side, and the Double Arch Trail, a 0.5-mile round trip hike that leads to a viewpoint of two large arches. One of the most popular and strenuous hike is the Delicate Arch trail, a 3-mile round trip hike that climbs steeply to the base of the park’s most famous arch. The trail is considered strenuous due to the steep climb and rocky terrain, but the views of the arch are worth the effort.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offers a limited number of hiking trails, but they are known to be challenging. The park’s most popular hike is the South Rim Trail, a 7-mile round trip hike that takes visitors along the rim of the canyon offering spectacular views. The trail is considered strenuous due to the steep drop-offs and rocky terrain. Another challenging hike is the Inner Canyon Trail, a strenuous hike that drops 2,250 feet in just 2.5 miles and is only recommended for experienced hikers with proper gear. The park also offers a few shorter and easier hikes like the Chasm View Nature Trail, which is a 0.3-mile round trip hike that offers views of the canyon from an overlook.

In summary, Arches National Park offers a variety of hiking trails that range from easy to strenuous, with the Delicate Arch trail being one of the most popular and strenuous hike. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has a limited number of hiking trails but is known for challenging hikes like the South Rim Trail and the Inner Canyon Trail. Both parks offer easy hikes as well like the Park Avenue Trail in Arches and the Chasm View Nature Trail in Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Most Popular Hiking Trails in Arches National Park

Name Length Elevation Type Difficulty Visitor Ratings
Delicate Arch Trail 3.09 mi 613.36 ft out and back Moderate 5/5
Devils Garden Loop Trail with 7 Arches 7.48 mi 1,069.28 ft loop Hard 5/5
Double Arch Trail 0.50 mi 32.80 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Fiery Furnace and Surprise Arch 1.70 mi 436.24 ft loop Moderate 5/5
Landscape Arch Trail 1.90 mi 259.12 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail 1.20 mi 170.56 ft loop Easy 4.5/5
Balanced Rock Loop Trail 0.30 mi 45.92 ft loop Easy 4/5
Park Avenue Trail 1.80 mi 298.48 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Sand Dune Arch Trail 0.30 mi 108.24 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Wolfe Ranch and Petroglyph Trail 0.50 mi 16.40 ft loop Easy 4.5/5

Most Popular Hiking Trails in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Name Length Elevation Type Difficulty Visitor Ratings
Warner Point Nature Trail 1.50 mi 406.72 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Oak Flat Loop Trail 1.30 mi 311.60 ft loop Moderate 4/5
Gunnison Route Trail 1.80 mi 1,781.04 ft out and back Very Hard 4.5/5
Painted Wall View Trail 0.20 mi 6.56 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Chasm View Nature Trail 0.60 mi 108.24 ft loop Easy 5/5
Exclamation Point 2.89 mi 364.08 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Green Mountain Summit Via North Vista Trail 6.49 mi 1,226.72 ft out and back Moderate 4.5/5
Gunnison Point Overlook 0.20 mi 78.72 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Rim Rock Nature Trail 1.50 mi 186.96 ft out and back Moderate 4/5
Warner Route 4.19 mi 3,034.00 ft out and back Very Hard 4.5/5

Wildlife in Arches National Park and Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Arches National Park and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are both home to a diverse array of wildlife, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and plants.

Arches National Park is located in the high desert of Utah and is home to a variety of mammals, including desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyotes, and pronghorn. Visitors may also see smaller mammals such as rock squirrels, rabbits, and pack rats. Birds are also abundant in the park, with over 200 species observed, including golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and white-throated swifts. Reptiles such as lizards and snakes can also be found in the park. The park is also home to a variety of desert plants, including cacti, yucca, and sagebrush.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located in Colorado and offers a different ecosystem than Arches. The park is home to a variety of mammals, including elk, mule deer, black bears, and mountain lions. Visitors may also see smaller mammals such as marmots, pikas, and chipmunks. Birds are also abundant in the park, with over 200 species observed, including golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and white-throated swifts. reptiles such as lizards and snakes can also be found in the park. The park also boasts a diverse array of plants, including aspen, pinyon pine, and Douglas fir.

In summary, both Arches National Park and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offer a wide variety of wildlife that visitors can see. Arches National Park is located in the desert and is home to a variety of desert mammals, birds, and plants, while Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located in the mountains and is home to a variety of mountain mammals, birds, and plants. Both parks offer a unique and rewarding wildlife viewing experience, depending on the type of ecosystem that interests you.

Below are lists of the most commonly spotted wildlife at Arches National Park and Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park. However, you can see a full list of wildlife at each national park here.

Birds

Arches National Park Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
Peregrine Falcon Peregrine Falcon
Northern Harrier Northern Harrier
Sharp-Shinned Hawk Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Osprey Osprey
Tree Swallow Tree Swallow
Mallard Mallard
Canada Goose Canada Goose
Lincoln’s Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
American Robin American Robin
Great Horned Owl Great Horned Owl
Red-Tailed Hawk Red-Tailed Hawk
Northern Flicker Northern Flicker
Merlin Merlin
Barn Swallow Barn Swallow
Savannah Sparrow Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush American Kestrel
American Kestrel Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow European Starling
European Starling Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail American Wigeon
American Wigeon Green-Winged Teal
Green-Winged Teal American Pipit

Mammals

Arches National Park Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
Coyote Coyote
American Beaver American Beaver
Muskrat Muskrat
Big Brown Bat Big Brown Bat
Bobcat Bobcat
Striped Skunk Striped Skunk
Little Brown Bat Little Brown Bat
Deer Mouse Deer Mouse
Raccoon Raccoon
Black Bear Black Bear
Porcupine Porcupine
Silver-Haired Bat Silver-Haired Bat
Hoary Bat Hoary Bat
Red Fox Red Fox
Long-Tailed Weasel Long-Tailed Weasel
House Mouse House Mouse
Mountain Lion Mountain Lion
American Mink American Mink
Mule Deer Mule Deer
Common Gray Fox Common Gray Fox
Long-Legged Myotis Long-Legged Myotis
Long-Eared Myotis Long-Eared Myotis
American Badger American Badger
California Myotis California Myotis
Northern River Otter Snowshoe Hare

Reptiles

Arches National Park Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
Gophersnake Gophersnake
Terrestrial Gartersnake Terrestrial Gartersnake
Eastern Racer Common Sagebrush Lizard
Common Sagebrush Lizard Greater Short-Horned Lizard
Greater Short-Horned Lizard Milksnake
Side-Blotched Lizard Striped Whipsnake
Nightsnake Tree Lizard
Long-Nosed Leopard Lizard Eastern Collared Lizard
Milksnake
Striped Whipsnake
Smith’s Black-Headed Snake
Tree Lizard
Western Whiptail
Eastern Collared Lizard

Amphibians

Arches National Park Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
Northern Leopard Frog Northern Leopard Frog
Tiger Salamander Tiger Salamander
American Bullfrog
Woodhouse’s Toad
Red-Spotted Toad
Canyon Treefrog

Fish

Arches National Park Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
Largemouth Bass Rainbow Trout
Green Sunfish Brown Trout
Bluegill Long-Nose Sucker
Fathead Minnow Northern Pike
Common Carp Mottled Sculpin
Speckled Dace Speckled Dace
Yellow Bullhead

Beautiful Landscapes in Arches National Park and Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Arches National Park is located in eastern Utah and is known for its over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the iconic Delicate Arch. Other popular landscapes in the park include the Park Avenue, Balanced Rock, and the Windows section which features three large arches. Visitors can also hike to the famous Landscape Arch, one of the longest natural arches in the world at 306 feet. Additionally, there are many hiking trails that offer scenic views of the park’s red rock formations, canyons, and deserts.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located in western Colorado and is known for its steep, narrow gorges that drop as much as 2,700 feet. The park features the Gunnison River, which has carved the canyon over millions of years. The park offers several scenic viewpoints such as Painted Wall View, which offers a panoramic view of the canyon’s tallest cliff at 2,250 feet. The park also offers several hiking trails like the Warner Point Nature Trail, which offers a great view of the canyon and the river. The park is also a great place for rock climbing and fishing.

Things To-Do and Activities in Arches National Park and Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Arches National Park and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are both popular national parks that offer a wide variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

Arches National Park is known for its spectacular natural sandstone arches and is a popular destination for hiking, sightseeing, and photography. The park has over 2,000 natural arches, including the famous Delicate Arch, which is a popular spot for sunset and sunrise photography. The park also offers a variety of hiking trails, from easy nature walks to strenuous backcountry treks, that take visitors to see the park’s famous rock formations and arches. Camping is also available in the park for visitors who want to spend more time exploring the park.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is known for its deep and steep canyon and is a popular destination for hiking, sightseeing, and rock climbing. The park offers several hiking trails that take visitors to the rim of the canyon and to the bottom of the canyon. The park also offers a variety of scenic drives and overlooks that provide great views of the canyon. Rock climbing is also popular in the park and can be accessed through the park’s South Rim or through the North Rim. Camping is also available in the park for visitors who want to spend more time exploring the park.

In summary, both Arches National Park and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offer a wide variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Arches National Park is known for its natural arches and is popular for hiking, sightseeing, and photography, while Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is known for its deep and steep canyon and is popular for hiking, sightseeing, rock climbing and camping. Both parks offer unique and rewarding experiences for visitors, depending on their interests.

Best Time to Visit Arches National Park and Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Arches National Park is located in the desert region of Utah, and the weather there can vary greatly depending on the season. During the summer months, temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and it is considered the hottest time to visit. Spring and fall are considered the best seasons to visit as the temperatures are milder and the park is less crowded. Winters are mild with occasional snowfall, but the park remains open year-round and visitors can enjoy the park’s beautiful winter landscapes.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located in western Colorado, and the weather there can also vary greatly depending on the season. The summer months can be hot with temperatures reaching into the 90s Fahrenheit, but it is also the best time to visit the park as the water levels in the Gunnison River are at their lowest, allowing for better views of the canyon. Spring and fall are also great seasons to visit, with mild temperatures and beautiful fall foliage. Winters in the park can be cold with snowfall, but the park remains open year-round and visitors can enjoy the park’s winter landscapes.

In summary, Arches National Park is considered the best to visit during Spring and Fall as the temperatures are milder and the park is less crowded. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is considered the best to visit during the Summer as the water levels in the Gunnison River are at their lowest, allowing for better views of the canyon. Both parks can have challenging weather during the Winter but remain open year-round and visitors can enjoy the park’s beautiful winter landscapes.

Family Friendliness of Arches National Park and Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Arches National Park is considered a family-friendly park, with many easy and short hikes that are suitable for children and families. The Park Avenue Trail, the Double Arch Trail, and the Sand Dune Arch Trail are all easy hikes that offer great views and are suitable for families with children. The park also offers ranger-led programs and guided tours that are educational and interactive for children. Additionally, the park has picnic areas and restrooms, making it convenient for families to take a break during their visit.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is also considered a family-friendly park, with easy hikes and ranger-led programs that are suitable for children. The Chasm View Nature Trail is a short and easy hike that offers great views of the canyon, and the park also offers ranger-led programs and guided tours that are educational and interactive for children. However, the park is known for its challenging hikes and steep drop-offs, which may not be suitable for young children or families with strollers. Additionally, the park has limited picnic areas and restrooms, so it may not be as convenient for families as Arches National Park.

In summary, Arches National Park is considered more family-friendly than Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park as it offers many easy and short hikes that are suitable for children and families, ranger-led programs and guided tours that are educational and interactive for children, as well as picnic areas and restrooms that make it more convenient for families to take a break during their visit. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is also considered family-friendly but it is known for its challenging hikes and steep drop-offs, which may not be suitable for young children or families with strollers. Additionally, the park has limited picnic areas and restrooms.

Leave a Comment