Arches National Park vs. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

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If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Arches National Park and New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, 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!

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Overview

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a beautiful and diverse destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Located in West Virginia, this expansive park spans more than 1,700 square miles and features rugged mountain scenery, winding rivers, picturesque waterfalls, steep canyons, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. With so much to see and do, New River Gorge is the perfect choice for anyone looking to get outside and explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re interested in hiking or biking along scenic trails or rafting or kayaking down rushing rivers, New River Gorge has something to offer everyone. So why not plan your next trip today? Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply a relaxing respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, New River Gorge is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. Get outside and discover what New River Gorge has to offer!

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 New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

New River Gorge National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails in the country. The park, which is located in southern West Virginia, features more than 50 miles of trails that wind through a variety of terrains. While all of the trails offer stunning views of the New River Gorge, each one has its own unique challenges.

For those looking for an easy hike, the Fayetteville Trail is a great option. This two-mile trail winds through a forest and offers gentle elevation changes. The trail can be accessed from the Fayetteville Visitors Center and is perfect for families or those who are new to hiking.

For those looking for a more challenging hike, the New River Gorge Trail is the longest and most difficult trail in the park. This 31-mile trail follows the New River from one end of the gorge to the other. Along the way, hikers will need to navigate steep cliffs, narrow ledges, and deep ravines. The New River Gorge Trail is only recommended for experienced hikers who are properly prepared for a multi-day adventure.

Top 10 Hiking Trails at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Hike Name Elevation Gain Difficulty Rating Type Average Rating
Upper Sand Creek Lake Trail 598.932 7 out and back 4.5
Medano Lake Trail 697.992 3 out and back 4
Montville Nature Trail 26.8224 1 loop 4
Dunes Overlook Sand Ramp Trail 80.772 3 out and back 3.5
Little Medano Creek Trail to Medano Lake 1079.9064 3 out and back 4
Wellington Ditch Trail 47.8536 1 out and back 4
Dunes Overlook Trail 143.8656 3 out and back 4
Pinion Flats Campground Trail 26.8224 1 loop 4
High Dune Trail 191.7192 5 out and back 5
High and Star Dune Loop 403.86 3 loop 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 New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

At New River Gorge National Park, you can expect to see a wide range of beautiful wildlife. Whether you’re gazing at towering trees or trekking through muddy marshes, you are sure to encounter an array of animals and plants along the way. Some of the most common species include deer, foxes, squirrels, turkeys, wild turkeys, salamanders, snakes, lizards, hawks, eagles, crows and blue jays. Additionally, New River Gorge is home to many different types of flora including ferns, mosses, conifers and deciduous trees. Whether you’re exploring on your own or partaking in one of the park’s many guided tours and hikes, New River Gorge has something to offer for all nature-lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike!

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.

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Weather Considerations

New River Gorge National Park is a great place to visit any time of year, but the best time to go depends on what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re interested in hiking, the spring and fall are ideal because the temperatures are moderate and there’s less chance of rain. However, if you’re looking to whitewater raft, the summer is the best time to visit since that’s when the water level is at its highest. On the other hand, winter can be a magical time at New River Gorge National Park, especially if you’re hoping to see some snow. So whether you’re looking for adventure or peace and quiet, be sure to check the New River Gorge National Park weather forecast before planning your trip.