Bryce Canyon National Park vs Death Valley National Park

Feel Free To Share:

Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park are two of the most unique and captivating national parks in the United States. Both parks offer visitors the chance to explore a diverse range of landscapes, from the towering hoodoos of Bryce Canyon to the vast desert expanse of Death Valley. Both parks are also known for their extreme temperatures, making for an adventure that’s not for the faint of heart. However, these parks are incredibly different from each other. Bryce Canyon is a wonderland of red rock spires that tower above you and the colors change with the light and seasons, while Death Valley is a land of extremes, with scorching temperatures and ancient sand dunes. If you’re looking for a national park experience unlike any other, you can’t go wrong with either Bryce Canyon or Death Valley.

Hiking Trails in Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park offer a wide variety of hiking trails for visitors to explore, each with their own unique challenges and rewards.

At Bryce Canyon, some of the easiest hikes include the Rim Trail and the Queens Garden Trail. The Rim Trail is a paved trail that runs along the rim of the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater, offering visitors stunning views of the park’s iconic hoodoos. The Queens Garden Trail is a 1.8-mile round-trip hike that takes visitors into the heart of the amphitheater, where they can see the park’s famous hoodoos up close.

For more challenging hikes, Bryce Canyon offers the Peekaboo Loop Trail and the Fairyland Loop Trail. The Peekaboo Loop Trail is a 5.5-mile hike that takes visitors into the backcountry of the park, with steep inclines and rocky terrain. The Fairyland Loop Trail is an 8-mile hike that offers a more strenuous hike, which includes a climb to the top of the Tower Bridge, an arch-like rock formation.

In Death Valley, some of the easiest hikes include the Golden Canyon Trail and the Salt Creek Trail. The Golden Canyon Trail is a 3-mile round-trip hike that takes visitors through a colorful canyon, with easy terrain and relatively little elevation gain. The Salt Creek Trail is a 2-mile hike that takes visitors through a desert oasis, where they can see rare desert pupfish and other wildlife.

For more challenging hikes, Death Valley offers the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and the Telescope Peak Trail. The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes is a 3-mile round-trip hike that takes visitors through a sea of sand dunes, which could be a bit of a workout. The Telescope Peak Trail is a strenuous hike that is 16-miles round-trip, which takes visitors to the highest peak in the park, offering panoramic views of Death Valley and the surrounding area.

Overall, both Bryce Canyon and Death Valley offer a wide range of hiking trails, from easy nature walks to strenuous backcountry treks, making them great for hikers of all skill levels.

Most Popular Hiking Trails in Bryce Canyon National Park

Name Length Elevation Type Difficulty Visitor Ratings
Navajo Loop and Queen’s Garden Trail 2.59 mi 623.20 ft loop Moderate 5/5
Fairyland Loop Trail 7.38 mi 1,541.60 ft loop Moderate 5/5
Peekaboo Loop Trail 5.19 mi 1,453.04 ft loop Moderate 5/5
Navajo Loop Trail 1.40 mi 459.20 ft loop Moderate 4.5/5
Wall Street and Queens Garden Loop Trail 3.09 mi 577.28 ft loop Moderate 5/5
Sunset Point to Sunrise Point 1.10 mi 82.00 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Mossy Cave Turret Arch and Little Windows Trail 1.00 mi 118.08 ft out and back Easy 4/5
Queen Victoria via Queen’s Garden Loop 2.10 mi 406.72 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Tower Bridge Trail 3.39 mi 826.56 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Wall Street and Queens Garden Loop to Peekaboo Loop (Figure Eight Trail) 6.29 mi 1,498.96 ft loop Moderate 5/5

Most Popular Hiking Trails in Death Valley National Park

Name Length Elevation Type Difficulty Visitor Ratings
Badwater Basin Salt Flats Trail 1.80 mi 9.84 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Trail 2.79 mi 206.64 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Zabriskie Point 0.40 mi 52.48 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Dante’s View Trail 1.60 mi 360.80 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Telescope Peak Trail 11.97 mi 3,322.64 ft out and back Hard 4.5/5
Golden Canyon Trail to Red Cathedral 2.89 mi 574.00 ft out and back Moderate 4.5/5
Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch Loop via Zabriskie Point 5.79 mi 1,092.24 ft loop Moderate 4.5/5
Mosaic Canyon Trail 3.49 mi 1,066.00 ft out and back Easy 4/5
Death Valley Natural Bridge Road 4.29 mi 1,000.40 ft out and back Easy 4/5
Darwin Falls Trail via Old Toll Road 1.90 mi 226.32 ft out and back Easy 4/5

Wildlife in Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park are both home to a diverse array of wildlife. However, the types of animals and plants that are commonly seen in these parks are quite different.

At Bryce Canyon National Park, visitors can expect to see a variety of mammals such as mule deer, bighorn sheep, and elk. Birds such as the peregrine falcon, golden eagle, and great horned owl can also be seen in the park. The park is also home to many different species of reptiles, such as the collared lizard and the western whiptail, and a variety of different butterflies.

Death Valley National Park, on the other hand, is a desert environment, which means the wildlife is adapted to withstand extreme temperatures. Visitors can expect to see animals such as bighorn sheep, coyotes, and kit foxes. Birds such as the golden eagle, roadrunner, and raven are also commonly seen in the park. The park also has several species of reptiles, such as the desert tortoise, Gopher snake, and desert horned lizard.

In terms of plants, Bryce Canyon is known for its Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir and Bristlecone Pine trees, as well as its wildflowers, such as sego lilies, mule ears, and Indian paintbrush. In contrast, Death Valley is known for its Joshua Trees, creosote bush, and desert holly, as well as its spring wildflowers, such as the desert gold and desert five-spot.

Both Bryce Canyon and Death Valley National Parks offer a wide range of wildlife and plant life that can be seen throughout the park, but the types of animals and plants you’ll see will vary greatly depending on the park you visit.

Below are lists of the most commonly spotted wildlife at Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park. However, you can see a full list of wildlife at each national park here.

Birds

Bryce Canyon National Park Death Valley National Park
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
Savannah Sparrow Savannah Sparrow
Great Blue Heron Great Blue Heron
Hermit Thrush Hermit Thrush
American Kestrel American Kestrel
Bald Eagle Bald Eagle
Song Sparrow Song Sparrow
European Starling European Starling
Northern Pintail Northern Pintail
American Wigeon American Wigeon
Green-Winged Teal Green-Winged Teal

Mammals

Bryce Canyon National Park Death Valley National Park
Coyote Coyote
American Beaver Muskrat
Muskrat Big Brown Bat
Big Brown Bat Bobcat
Bobcat Little Brown Bat
Striped Skunk Deer Mouse
Little Brown Bat Raccoon
Deer Mouse Porcupine
Raccoon Silver-Haired Bat
Black Bear Hoary Bat
Porcupine House Mouse
Silver-Haired Bat Mountain Lion
Hoary Bat Mule Deer
Red Fox Gray Fox
Long-Tailed Weasel Long-Legged Myotis
House Mouse Long-Eared Myotis
Mountain Lion Badger
Mule Deer Californian Myotis
Common Gray Fox Fringed Myotis
Long-Legged Myotis Common Shrew
Long-Eared Myotis Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
American Badger Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat
Ermine Bushy-Tailed Woodrat
California Myotis Western Harvest Mouse
Snowshoe Hare Western Small-Footed Myotis

Reptiles

Bryce Canyon National Park Death Valley National Park
Gophersnake Gopher Snake
Terrestrial Gartersnake Terrestrial Gartersnake
Prairie Rattlesnake Ring-Necked Snake
Common Sagebrush Lizard Common Sagebrush Lizard
Greater Short-Horned Lizard Common Side-Blotched Lizard
Side-Blotched Lizard Rubber Boa
Nightsnake Long-Nosed Leopard Lizard
Striped Whipsnake Smith������S Black-Headed Snake
Tree Lizard Tree Lizard
Western Whiptail Eastern Fence Lizard
Western Skink Glossy Snake
Long-Nosed Snake
Western Fence Lizard

Fish

Bryce Canyon National Park Death Valley National Park
Brook Trout Largemouth Bass
Mosquitofish
Goldfish

Amphibians

Bryce Canyon National Park Death Valley National Park
Northern Leopard Frog Woodhouse’s Toad
Tiger Salamander Canyon Treefrog

Beautiful Landscapes in Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its unique hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations that are created by erosion. The most famous landscape at the park is the Bryce Amphitheater, which is a large natural amphitheater that is filled with hoodoos. Visitors can take a scenic drive or hike through the amphitheater to see the hoodoos up close and take in the stunning views. Other popular landscapes at the park include the Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, and Inspiration Point, all of which offer panoramic views of the hoodoos and the surrounding landscape.

Death Valley National Park is known for its vast desert landscape and rugged terrain. The most famous landscape at the park is the Badwater Basin, which is the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level. Visitors can hike to the basin and see the salt flats up close. Another famous landscape at the park is the Zabriskie Point, which is a popular spot for sunset view, and offers a panoramic view of the park’s unique and varied landscapes. The park also boasts the largest sand dunes in North America, known as “The Mesquite Sand Dunes” and the “Eureka Dunes” where visitors can hike and explore. Additionally, the park has a variety of mountain ranges, including the Panamint Range and the Amargosa Range, which offer visitors the opportunity to explore and take in the beautiful views.

Overall, Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its unique hoodoos and panoramic views, while Death Valley National Park is known for its vast desert landscape, including Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point and the sand dunes, and rugged mountain ranges.

Things To-Do and Activities in Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park both offer a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy, but they are quite different.

At Bryce Canyon National Park, one of the most popular activities is hiking. The park has a variety of trails that offer visitors the opportunity to explore the park’s famous hoodoos and other geological features up close. The park also offers guided ranger hikes for visitors who want a more in-depth experience. Another popular activity at Bryce Canyon is stargazing. The park has some of the darkest skies in the country, making it an ideal location for stargazing.

At Death Valley National Park, popular activities include hiking and sightseeing. The park has several trails that take visitors through the park’s unique landscape, including the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and the Golden Canyon Trail. The park also offers guided ranger hikes and 4×4 tours for visitors who want a more in-depth experience. Another popular activity at Death Valley is wildlife viewing. The park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, coyotes, and kit foxes.

Both Bryce Canyon and Death Valley National Parks offer a wide range of activities, but they are quite different. Bryce Canyon is known for its hiking and stargazing, while Death Valley is known for its hiking, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing.

Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park are both located in the western United States, but have vastly different climates and weather patterns.

Bryce Canyon, located in southern Utah, has a high elevation and a cold, semi-arid climate. The park receives heavy snowfall during the winter, which can make some of the park’s roads and trails impassable. The best time to visit Bryce Canyon is during the spring and fall, when temperatures are mild and the park’s famous hoodoos (tall, thin spires of rock) are most visible.

Death Valley, located in eastern California, has a hot, dry desert climate. The park receives very little rainfall, and temperatures can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. The best time to visit Death Valley is during the winter, when temperatures are cooler and the park’s many desert landscapes are most vibrant.

In summary, the best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park is during the spring and fall when temperatures are mild and the park’s famous hoodoos are most visible. The best time to visit Death Valley National Park is during the winter when temperatures are cooler and the park’s many desert landscapes are most vibrant.

Family Friendliness of Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park

Both Bryce Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park are great choices for families looking to explore the great outdoors, but they offer different types of experiences.

Bryce Canyon National Park is more family-friendly in terms of accessibility. The park has well-maintained trails and boardwalks that make it easy for families to explore the hoodoos and take in the stunning views. The park also offers a variety of ranger-led programs, such as guided hikes and Junior Ranger activities, which are designed to educate and entertain children of all ages. Additionally, the park has a visitor center with interactive exhibits, a theater, and a bookstore, which can be interesting for children.

Death Valley National Park, on the other hand, can be less accessible for families with young children. The park’s rugged terrain can make it difficult for strollers or wheelchairs, and some of the trails can be steep or rocky. Although the park offers a variety of ranger-led programs and guided hikes, they may not be as easily accessible as in Bryce Canyon National Park. Additionally, the park’s extreme heat during the summer months can make it challenging for families with young children to spend long periods of time exploring the park.

Overall, Bryce Canyon National Park is a better option for families with young children because of its accessibility and the variety of ranger-led programs and activities that are designed to educate and entertain kids. While Death Valley National Park offers unique landscapes and natural features, it may be less accessible and more challenging for families with young children to explore.

Leave a Comment