Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park vs Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

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Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park vs Wrangell - St Elias National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve are two of the most spectacular national parks in the United States. Both parks offer a wide range of outdoor activities and breathtaking landscapes that are sure to take your breath away. Black Canyon Of The Gunnison is known for its deep and narrow gorge, while Wrangell-St. Elias is known for its vast wilderness and glaciers. Whether you’re a hiker, a photographer, or just looking for a peaceful place to relax, these two national parks have something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime as we explore the best of Black Canyon Of The Gunnison and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve.

Hiking Trails in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is known for its challenging and steep hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the canyon. Some of the most popular hikes include the Rim Rock Trail, which offers panoramic views of the canyon and the Gunnison River, and the Warner Point Nature Trail, which is a shorter hike that offers a great introduction to the park. The park also offers backpacking opportunities in the backcountry with permit.

Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, offers a wide range of hiking trails that vary in difficulty. The park is known for its rugged wilderness and abundant wildlife, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Some of the most popular hikes include the Root Glacier Trail, which offers the opportunity to explore a glacier, and the Kennicott Glacier Trail, which offers stunning views of the valley and the glaciers. The park also offers backpacking opportunities in the backcountry with permit.

Both parks are known for their natural beauty and challenging hiking trails, but the Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is more focused on the canyon itself and offers more challenging hikes, while Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve offers a wider range of hiking opportunities and more wilderness experiences.

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 Wrangell – St Elias 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 Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve are both home to a diverse range of wildlife. At Black Canyon of the Gunnison, visitors can expect to see a variety of animals such as mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk, and coyotes. The park is also home to a variety of bird species, including golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and great horned owls. The park also has a number of reptiles and amphibians, including the western rattlesnake and the canyon treefrog.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is one of the largest national parks in the country, and it’s home to an even wider variety of wildlife. Visitors can expect to see large mammals such as grizzly bears, wolves, moose, and caribou, as well as smaller mammals like martens and lynx. The park is also home to a variety of bird species, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and swans. The park is also home to a wide variety of fish species, including salmon and grayling.

While both parks are home to a diverse range of wildlife, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is generally considered to be a better destination for those who are interested in viewing larger mammals, while Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is known for its smaller mammals and reptiles and amphibians.

Below are lists of the most commonly spotted wildlife at Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias 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 Wrangell – St Elias 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 European Starling
American Wigeon Northern Pintail
Green-Winged Teal American Wigeon
American Pipit Green-Winged Teal

Mammals

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Wrangell – St Elias 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 Puma
Raccoon Mink
Black Bear Mule Deer
Porcupine Wolf
Silver-Haired Bat Short-Tailed Weasel
Hoary Bat Snowshoe Hare
Red Fox Land Otter
Long-Tailed Weasel Common Shrew
House Mouse Water Shrew
Mountain Lion Red Squirrel
American Mink Montane Shrew
Mule Deer Long-Tailed Vole
Common Gray Fox Lynx
Long-Legged Myotis Wolverine
Long-Eared Myotis American Marten
American Badger Northern Flying Squirrel
California Myotis Grizzly Bear
Snowshoe Hare Meadow Vole

Fish

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Wrangell – St Elias 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
Cutthroat Trout
Arctic Grayling

Amphibians

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve
Northern Leopard Frog Wood Frog
Tiger Salamander

Beautiful Landscapes in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve are both home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the United States. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a deep and narrow gorge that offers spectacular views of the Gunnison River and the surrounding mountains. The park’s main attraction is the sheer cliffs that drop more than 2,000 feet, making it one of the deepest gorges in North America. Visitors can hike to the rim of the canyon, take a scenic drive, or even go rock climbing.

On the other hand, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is a vast wilderness area with rugged mountains, glaciers, and vast expanses of tundra. The park is home to the largest collection of glaciers in North America and is one of the most remote and unspoiled wilderness areas in the United States. Visitors can hike, camp, fish, and even go backpacking in the park’s remote wilderness. The park’s most famous landscapes include Mount Wrangell, the largest active volcano in North America, and the Kennicott Glacier, which is one of the most easily accessible glaciers in the park.

Both parks offer visitors the opportunity to experience unique landscapes and natural wonders that are not found anywhere else in the world. Black Canyon of the Gunnison is known for its deep and narrow gorge, while Wrangell-St. Elias offers visitors the chance to explore a vast wilderness area with glaciers, rugged mountains, and tundra. Both parks are a must-see for nature enthusiasts, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a unique and breathtaking experience.

Things To-Do and Activities in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve are both popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts, but the activities available at each park are quite different.

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is known for its spectacular canyon views, and hiking is one of the most popular activities here. Visitors can explore the park’s many trails, which range from easy, accessible paths to strenuous backcountry routes. Some of the park’s most famous hikes include the Rim Rock Trail, which offers stunning views of the canyon, and the East Portal Trail, which takes hikers to the base of the canyon.

Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, is known for its rugged wilderness and opportunities for backcountry adventure. The park is home to some of the tallest peaks in North America, and visitors can hike to the summit of many of these mountains. The park also offers opportunities for backpacking, camping, and fishing. The park is also a great place to see wildlife, including bears, moose, and caribou.

For family-friendly activities, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park has more options, with shorter and easy trails, and ranger-led programs that can be enjoyed by all ages. While Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve offers more strenuous hikes and backcountry options, it may not be as suitable for families with young children.

Overall, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is a great destination for families who enjoy hiking and scenic views, while Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve is a perfect destination for those seeking a remote wilderness experience and adventure.

Best Time to Visit Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve have vastly different seasonal weather patterns. Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, located in Colorado, experiences warm summers and cold winters, with temperatures ranging from 50-90°F in the summer and 20-40°F in the winter. The best time to visit for optimal hiking and outdoor activities is typically during the summer months of June to September.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, located in Alaska, experiences long, cold winters and short, cool summers. The park receives significant amounts of snowfall and temperatures can range from 20-60°F, with the best time to visit during the summer months of June to September. The park is also home to glaciers and ice fields, which are best visited during the winter months when the weather is coldest. The park can be accessed by plane, boat, or snowmobile during the winter.

In summary, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is best visited during the summer for warm weather and optimal hiking, while Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is best visited during the summer for the best chance of clear weather, but also offers winter activities such as ice-climbing, cross-country skiing, and dog-sledding.

Family Friendliness of Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve both offer a wide range of outdoor activities, but they are quite different in terms of accessibility and family-friendliness. Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is known for its steep and dramatic canyons, and while it offers several easy hiking trails, it’s not the most family-friendly park. The park’s steep cliffs and narrow canyons can be dangerous for young children, and there are no real playgrounds or easily accessible family-friendly activities.

Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, offers a wide range of outdoor activities that are suitable for families. The park is home to several easy hiking trails, as well as a variety of wildlife and scenic vistas. There are also several campgrounds, picnic areas, and visitor centers that are great for families. The park is also home to several glaciers and rivers, making it a great destination for rafting and kayaking.

Overall, Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve is a better option for families looking for a more accessible and family-friendly park experience. Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, while offering breathtaking views and unique geological features, is not as family-friendly as Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve.

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