If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Arches National Park and Capitol Reef National Park, we’ve got you covered.
We’ll take a look at what they have to offer in terms of hiking and wildlife, plus what the best time of year to visit might be.
Let’s get started with an overview of Arches National Park.
Table Of Contents
Arches National Park Overview
Arches National Park is a beautiful natural preserve that is home to some of the most awe-inspiring geological formations in the world. Arches consists of thousands of massive sandstone arches stretching across over 76,000 acres of desert terrain, including towering spires, jagged pinnacles, and delicate fins. Some of the most famous arches in Arches National Park include Delicate Arch and Double Arch. Whether you choose to explore Arches on foot or by bike, this magical park is sure to delight and amaze visitors of all ages. So if you’re looking for a stunning outdoor escape that will take your breath away, be sure to visit Arches National Park!
Capitol Reef National Park Overview
Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles.
Hiking At National Parks
Most national parks have some of the best hiking trails you’ll find anywhere in the US.
If you’re planning to take along your furry friend, double-check the rules before you go – as many of the parks have different rules about bringing animals along with you.
Arches National Park Hiking Trails
Arches National Park is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the United States. With over 2,000 natural arches, the park offers hikers a wide variety of trails to choose from. While some trails are more difficult than others, there is something for everyone at Arches National Park.
For those looking for an easy hike, the Park Avenue trail is a great option. This two-mile trail takes hikers through a canyon of red sandstone spires and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Devils Garden trail is a great option. This seven-mile trail takes hikers through a series of narrow canyons and sandstone fins. The trail can be difficult at times, but the views are well worth the effort.
no matter what your hiking level, Arches National Park has something to offer. So get out there and explore!
Best Hikes At Arches National Park
The ratings below are based on user-submitted data at AllTrails.com
|Hike Name||Elevation Gain||Difficulty Rating||Type||Average Rating|
|Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch||57.912||1||out and back||4.5|
|Sand Dune Arch to Broken Arch Loop||98.7552||3||loop||4.5|
|Delicate Arch Trail||186.8424||3||out and back||5|
|Eye of the Whale Trail||124.968||3||out and back||4|
|Sevenmile Rim OHV Route||425.8056||3||loop||4.5|
|Metal Masher OHV Trail||787.908||5||loop||4.5|
|Willow Springs OHV Road||300.8376||3||out and back||4|
|Lower Courthouse Wash Trail||19.812||3||out and back||4|
|Devils Garden Loop Trail with 7 Arches||325.8312||5||loop||5|
|Ribbon Arch Trail||119.7864||3||out and back||4|
Hiking Overview at Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is a hiker’s paradise, offering a wide variety of trails to suit all levels of ability. For those looking for a relatively easy hike, the Capitol Gorge Trail is an excellent option. This 3-mile round-trip hike takes you through a narrow canyon with towering walls, and can be completed in a few hours. For something a bit more challenging, the Frying Pan Trail is a 9.5-mile loop that takes you up into the foothills of thepark. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Finally, for experienced hikers looking for a real test, the Hailstone Trail is a strenuous 16-mile trek that summits several peaks along the way. Whichever trail you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience at Capitol Reef National Park.
Top 10 Hiking Trails at Capitol Reef National Park
|Hike Name||Elevation Gain||Difficulty Rating||Type||Average Rating|
|Fremont River Trail||124.968||3||out and back||4.5|
|Upper Muley Twist||412.6992||3||loop||4.5|
|Cohab Canyon – Cassidy Arch Trail||728.7768||3||out and back||4.5|
|Panorama Point||2.7432||1||out and back||4|
|Frying Pan Trail||797.9664||3||out and back||4.5|
|Grand Wash Trail via Capitol Reef Scenic Dr.||169.7736||3||out and back||4.5|
|Burro Wash Trail||302.9712||3||out and back||4.5|
|Sulphur Creek Waterfall Hike||54.864||1||out and back||4.5|
|Cottonwood Wash||367.8936||3||out and back||4.5|
|Fremont Gorge Trail||310.896||3||out and back||4.5|
Wildlife at Arches National Park
Arches National Park is home to a diverse array of plants and animals. The park’s high desert landscape is home to species like the pronghorn antelope, mule deer, bighorn sheep, coyote, and red-tailed hawk. In the springtime, the park comes alive with wildflowers like the Shivwits sunflower, Arches mantleflower, and Deseret evening primrose. Arches is also home to a variety of cacti and succulents, including the beavertail cactus, cliffrose, and yucca. Whether you’re looking for wildlife or plant life, Arches National Park is sure to delight.
Wildlife at Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. The park’s diverse ecosystem includes desert, mountain, and river habitats, providing a home for many different species of creatures. Visitors to the park can expect to see desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and coyotes. There are also several species of reptiles, including the Gila monster and desert tortoise. In addition to its furry and scaly residents, Capitol Reef National Park is also home to a variety of birds, includinghawks, eagles, and owls. Flowers bloom throughout the year in the park, attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Capitol Reef National Park is truly a wildlife paradise!
What’s the best time to visit?
A lot of times, weather can dictate when it makes the most sense to visit a particular national park.
Plus, depending on the types of activities you’re hoping to take part in, seasonality will be a huge factor in whether those things are even available.
Arches National Park Weather Considerations
Arches National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Located in Utah, the park is known for its stunning red rock formations and abundance of arches. While the park can be visited year-round, the best time to go is typically in the spring or fall. During these seasons, the weather is generally mild and comfortable, making it ideal for hiking and exploring. In contrast, summers can be extremely hot, with temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters can also be tough, with cold temperatures and potential snowstorms. As a result, most visitors prefer to avoid Arches National Park during these times of year.
Capitol Reef National Park Weather Considerations
Capitol Reef National Park is located in southern Utah, and the weather there can vary greatly depending on the time of year. The summers are hot, with average highs in July and August exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the dry heat means that the temperatures are not as oppressive as they might be in other parts of the country. The winters are cool, with average lows in January and February below freezing. However, Capitol Reef National Park is a popular destination for winter sports, and the snow-covered landscape is truly breathtaking. Spring and fall are generally considered to be the best times to visit Capitol Reef National Park, as the temperatures are mild and the crowds are relatively thin. Regardless of when you visit, Capitol Reef National Park is sure to leave a lasting impression.