Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park vs Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Feel Free To Share:

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve offer visitors vastly different experiences, but both are equally breathtaking in their own way. Black Canyon of the Gunnison is known for its steep and narrow gorge, carved out over millions of years by the Gunnison River. The park offers a unique perspective on the geology of the area and the power of water. On the other hand, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is a wilderness lover’s paradise, with rugged mountains, glaciers, and pristine lakes. The park is home to an abundance of wildlife, including bears, moose, and wolves. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a peaceful paddle, both of these national parks will leave you in awe of the natural beauty of the American West.

Hiking Trails in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve offer very different hiking experiences. The Black Canyon is known for its challenging, steep and narrow trails that offer breathtaking views of the deep and steep canyon. The park’s most popular hike is the South Rim Trail, a 5-mile round-trip hike that takes visitors along the rim of the canyon, offering breathtaking views of the deep and steep gorge. Another popular hike is the Gunnison Route, which takes hikers down into the canyon for a more strenuous experience.

On the other hand, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve offers a more remote and wilderness-oriented hiking experience. The park has a variety of trails, from short day hikes to multi-day backpacking trips. The park’s most popular hike is the Tanalian Trail, which offers views of the park’s beautiful lakes and glaciers, as well as opportunities to see bears and other wildlife. Another popular hike is the Twin Lakes Trail, which leads to two beautiful alpine lakes. Hikes in Lake Clark National Park & Preserve are generally more strenuous than those at Black Canyon, but offer a more remote wilderness experience.

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

Most Popular Hiking Trails in Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Name Length Elevation Type Difficulty Visitor Ratings
0.00 mi 0.00 ft /5

Wildlife in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is known for its diverse wildlife, including bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, black bears, mountain lions, and golden eagles. Visitors may also see a variety of smaller mammals, such as marmots, pikas, and coyotes. The park also offers bird-watching opportunities, with over 200 species of birds that have been recorded in the park.

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including brown bears, wolves, lynx, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. The park is also home to a variety of fish, including rainbow trout, grayling, and salmon. Visitors may also see a variety of birds, such as trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, and bald eagles. Additionally, the park is home to several species of plants, including wildflowers and shrubs.

Both parks are known for their diverse wildlife, with Black Canyon of the Gunnison being known for its diverse mammals and birds, and Lake Clark known for its bears and other large mammals and fish. Both parks offer great opportunities for wildlife viewing, but the type of wildlife you will see would be different in both parks.

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

Birds

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
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
Great Blue Heron Savannah Sparrow
Hermit Thrush Great Blue Heron
American Kestrel Hermit Thrush
Bald Eagle American Kestrel
Song Sparrow Bald Eagle
European Starling Song Sparrow
Northern Pintail Northern Pintail
American Wigeon American Wigeon
Green-Winged Teal Green-Winged Teal
American Pipit American Pipit

Mammals

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Coyote Coyote
American Beaver American Beaver
Muskrat Muskrat
Big Brown Bat Little Brown Bat
Bobcat Black Bear
Striped Skunk Porcupine
Little Brown Bat Red Fox
Deer Mouse Mink
Raccoon Gray Wolf
Black Bear Short-Tailed Weasel
Porcupine Snowshoe Hare
Silver-Haired Bat Northern River Otter
Hoary Bat Masked Shrew
Red Fox Water Shrew
Long-Tailed Weasel Red Squirrel
House Mouse Montane Shrew
Mountain Lion Lynx
American Mink Wolverine
Mule Deer American Marten
Common Gray Fox Brown Bear
Long-Legged Myotis Meadow Vole
Long-Eared Myotis Moose
American Badger Least Weasel
California Myotis Pygmy Shrew
Snowshoe Hare Meadow Jumping Mouse

Fish

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Rainbow Trout Steelhead
Brown Trout Longnose Sucker
Long-Nose Sucker Lake Trout
Northern Pike Northern Pike
Mottled Sculpin Burbot
Speckled Dace Silver Salmon
King Salmon
Slimy Sculpin
Threespine Stickleback
Sockeye Salmon
Pink Salmon
Chum Salmon
Dolly Varden
Arctic Grayling

Amphibians

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Northern Leopard Frog Wood Frog
Tiger Salamander

Beautiful Landscapes in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve are both known for their stunning natural landscapes. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is home to the deepest and most dramatic canyon in North America, with sheer walls that drop over 2,000 feet. The park’s main feature is the Black Canyon, which was carved by the Gunnison River and offers breathtaking views from the rim and the bottom. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, camping, and rock climbing within the park.

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, is home to an array of natural wonders, including glaciers, rugged peaks, and beautiful alpine lakes. The park is famous for its abundance of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, and moose, which can be seen along the park’s hiking trails. The park also offers excellent fishing opportunities in its numerous rivers and streams. Both parks offer a unique natural experience and are great for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

Things To-Do and Activities in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve are both popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Both parks offer a variety of activities to enjoy, although they differ in terms of the specific activities they offer.

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is known for its rugged and steep canyon walls, which offer a variety of hiking trails, including strenuous backcountry trails, and rock climbing routes. The park also has several scenic drives, including the South Rim Road and the North Rim Road, which offer breathtaking views of the canyon. Visitors can also take ranger-led tours and learn about the park’s geology, history, and wildlife.

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, is known for its stunning wilderness and opportunities for backcountry adventure. Visitors can explore the park’s vast wilderness through backpacking, boat or floatplane trips, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including bears, wolves, moose, and caribou, and visitors can often spot them from the air or from the water. Visitors can also take guided tours and learn about the park’s geology, history, and culture.

In conclusion, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is ideal for visitors who want to experience the park’s rugged wilderness, hike on challenging trails, and enjoy scenic drives. Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is ideal for visitors who want to explore the park’s wilderness through backpacking, boat or floatplane trips, fishing, and wildlife viewing, as well as learning about the park’s geology, history, and culture.

Best Time to Visit Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is located in western Colorado, and has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters. The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and fall when temperatures are milder. During the summer months, temperatures can reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the park can get quite crowded. Winters can be cold with snowfall, making some of the park’s roads and trails inaccessible.

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, is located in Alaska and has a subarctic climate. The park is also open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the summer months when temperatures are warmer and the days are longer. Visitors can expect to see stunning glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and an abundance of wildlife such as bears, moose, and wolves. However, during the winter months, the park can be extremely cold and snowy, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. Access to the park is also limited during this time due to snow and ice on the roads.

In terms of hiking, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park offers a variety of trails that range from easy nature walks to strenuous backcountry routes. The park’s most popular hike is the Rim Rock Trail, which offers panoramic views of the canyon and the Gunnison River. Lake Clark National Park & Preserve also offers a variety of hiking trails, but they are generally more strenuous and remote. Many of the park’s trails lead to glaciers and alpine lakes, and visitors are likely to see bears and other wildlife along the way.

In summary, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is best visited during the spring and fall, while Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is best visited during the summer. Both parks offer a variety of hiking trails, but Lake Clark National Park & Preserve’s trails tend to be more remote and strenuous. Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is a great choice for those who want a mix of easy and challenging hikes, while Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is a great choice for those who want to explore remote wilderness areas and see abundant wildlife.

Family Friendliness of Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve are both beautiful and unique national parks, but they offer very different experiences for families with children. Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park offers a range of outdoor activities that are suitable for families, such as hiking, camping, and picnicking. The park has several easy trails that are perfect for children, such as the Rim Rock Trail, which offers stunning views of the canyon and the Gunnison River. The park also has a visitor center with educational exhibits that are great for kids.

On the other hand, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve offers a more rugged and remote wilderness experience. The park is known for its stunning landscapes, including the rugged peaks of the Chigmit Mountains, the vast tundra of the Telaquana Mountains, and the beautiful lakes and rivers. The park is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, and caribou. While this park is an excellent destination for visitors looking for a remote and wild experience, it might not be the best choice for families with young children, as the park’s wilderness environment is not as easily accessible and can be dangerous.

Overall, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is likely to be a more family-friendly option, with a variety of easy trails and educational exhibits that are perfect for children. While Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is an excellent destination for visitors looking for a remote and wild experience, it might not be the best choice for families with young children.

Leave a Comment