Arches National Park vs. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Arches National Park and Great Smoky Mountains 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.

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!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Overview

Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park. Plan your visit today!

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 Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best places to hike in the United States. The park has over 800 miles of trails, ranging from easy to difficult. For hikers who are looking for an easy hike, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a great option. This 5-mile roundtrip hike winds through a beautiful forest and is mostly flat. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the 210-mile Appalachian Trail runs through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This hike is not for the faint of heart, but those who complete it are rewarded with stunning views of the mountains. No matter what your hiking level, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a trail for you.

Top 10 Hiking Trails at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hike Name Elevation Gain Difficulty Rating Type Average Rating
Jakes Creek Trail to Avent Cabin 146.9136 1 out and back 4.5
Mount Le Conte 993.9528 5 out and back 5
Gregory Bald via Twentymile 1145.7432 7 loop 4.5
Smokemont Loop Trail 428.8536 3 loop 4
Chestnut Branch Trail to Mount Cammerer 1005.84 5 out and back 4.5
Silers Bald and Forney Creek Loop Trail 1589.8368 7 loop 4.5
Cataloochee Divide Trail 850.6968 5 out and back 4.5
Chestnut Top Trail to Whiteoak Sink 602.8944 3 out and back 4
Brushy Mountain 528.828 5 out and back 4
Noland Divide Trail 1457.8584 5 point to point 4

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 Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to an incredible diversity of plant and animal life. Over 10,000 species of plants and animals can be found throughout the park, making it one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Among the most popular animals in the park are black bears, white-tailed deer, elk, coyotes, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park bees. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also home to a wide variety of bird species, including sandpipers, herons, woodpeckers, and red-tailed hawks. In addition to its abundance of wildlife, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also home to some of the tallest trees in the eastern United States. The park’s forests are dominated by fir and hemlock trees, but you can also find maple, oak, and poplar trees throughout the park. No matter what time of year you visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there’s sure to be something new and exciting to see.

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.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Weather Considerations

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful place to visit any time of year. However, the weather can vary significantly depending on the season. In the winter, the temperatures can dip well below freezing, and the roads may be covered in ice and snow. Spring is a great time to visit, as the temperatures are milder and the flowers are in bloom. However, visitors should be aware that thunderstorms are common in the spring. Summer is the busiest time of year at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as the weather is warm and sunny. However, visitors should be prepared for occasional afternoon showers. Fall is another great time to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as the leaves change color and the crowds thin out. However, visitors should be aware that cold weather can arrive early in the fall, so it’s important to pack a jacket.