Bryce Canyon National Park vs Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

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Bryce Canyon National Park vs Wrangell - St Elias National Park & Preserve

Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve are two vastly different yet equally breathtaking national parks. While Bryce Canyon is known for its colorful hoodoos and stunning sunrises and sunsets, Wrangell-St. Elias boasts some of the most rugged and remote wilderness in the country. Both parks offer visitors a chance to escape into nature and experience the beauty of the American landscape. Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely stroll through a fairyland of hoodoos or a challenging backpacking trip through the Alaskan wilderness, these two parks have something for everyone. So come along and join us as we explore the unique features and highlights of these two national parks, and discover why they’re worth a visit!

Hiking Trails in Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah and Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve in Alaska are two very different national parks that offer unique hiking experiences.

At Bryce Canyon National Park, visitors can hike along the rim of the canyon to see the famous hoodoos and enjoy panoramic views of the park. Some of the most popular hikes include the Queen’s Garden Trail, which is considered an easy hike and leads to some of the most iconic hoodoos in the park, and the Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail, which is considered a moderate hike and offers a more strenuous experience. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Fairyland Loop Trail is considered one of the hardest in the park, taking hikers through a variety of different landscapes and offering spectacular views of the hoodoos.

Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, is known for its rugged wilderness and offers a backpacking experience. The park is home to some of the tallest mountains in North America and visitors can hike to the summit of some of these peaks. Some of the most popular hikes include the Root Glacier hike, which is considered an easy hike, and the Nabesna Glacier hike, which is considered a more challenging hike. The park also offers more strenuous hikes such as the Kontrashibuna and Chitistone Pass hikes. These hikes are considered more challenging and require more preparation and experience.

In summary, Bryce Canyon National Park offers a variety of easy and moderate hikes that take visitors through unique landscapes and offer beautiful views. Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, is known for its rugged wilderness and offers more challenging and backpacking experiences.

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 Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

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

Wildlife in Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve are both home to a wide variety of wildlife, but the types of animals, birds, and plants that are commonly seen in each park are quite different.

At Bryce Canyon National Park, visitors can expect to see a variety of mammals such as mule deer, bighorn sheep, and coyotes. The park is also home to a wide variety of birds including the American dipper, the white-throated swift, and the violet-green swallow. The park’s vegetation is mostly composed of various species of conifers and deciduous trees, as well as a variety of wildflowers in spring and summer.

Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, is known for its larger mammals such as grizzly bears, moose, and caribou. The park is also home to a wide variety of birds, including the bald eagle, the golden eagle, and the trumpeter swan. The park’s vegetation is mostly composed of spruce, hemlock, and cottonwood trees, as well as various types of shrubs, mosses, and lichens.

While both parks offer unique wildlife viewing opportunities, those looking for a chance to see larger mammals and birds of prey may want to visit Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve, while those looking for a more diverse array of plant life may want to visit Bryce Canyon National Park.

Below are lists of the most commonly spotted wildlife at Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve. However, you can see a full list of wildlife at each national park here.

Birds

Bryce Canyon 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
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 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
Mule Deer Montane Shrew
Common Gray Fox Long-Tailed Vole
Long-Legged Myotis Lynx
Long-Eared Myotis Wolverine
American Badger American Marten
Ermine Northern Flying Squirrel
California Myotis Grizzly Bear
Snowshoe Hare Meadow Vole

Fish

Bryce Canyon National Park Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve
Brook Trout Steelhead
Longnose Sucker
Lake Trout
Northern Pike
Burbot
Silver Salmon
King Salmon
Slimy Sculpin
Threespine Stickleback
Sockeye Salmon
Pink Salmon
Chum Salmon
Dolly Varden
Cutthroat Trout
Arctic Grayling

Amphibians

Bryce Canyon National Park Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve
Northern Leopard Frog Wood Frog
Tiger Salamander

Beautiful Landscapes in Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve are two vastly different national parks that offer unique and awe-inspiring landscapes. Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for its hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock that have been formed by erosion. These hoodoos, along with the colorful rock layers, make for a breathtaking sight that visitors can see from various overlooks along the park’s scenic drive. On the other hand, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is known for its vast wilderness, which includes the largest protected area in the United States. This park boasts towering mountain ranges, including the Wrangell Mountains, which are home to some of the highest peaks in North America. Additionally, visitors can explore glaciers, braided rivers, and vast expanses of tundra, making for a truly wild and remote experience. Both parks offer unique landscapes that are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

Things To-Do and Activities in Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve are both known for their natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, but the types of activities that are popular at each park are quite different.

At Bryce Canyon National Park, the most popular activities include hiking, stargazing, and sightseeing. The park is known for its unique hoodoos, which are tall, spire-shaped rock formations that have been formed by erosion. Visitors can hike along the park’s many trails, including the popular Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop trails, to get a close-up look at these unique rock formations. The park’s high elevation and clear skies also make it an excellent spot for stargazing, and the park offers ranger-led stargazing programs during the summer months.

At Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, the most popular activities include backpacking, camping, and fishing. The park is the largest national park in the United States, and it is home to several large glaciers, including the largest glacier in North America. Visitors can hike along the park’s many backcountry trails, including the Root Glacier Trail, to get a close-up look at these glaciers. The park also offers several campsites and primitive backcountry campsites for overnight visitors. Fishing is also a popular activity in the park, with several streams and rivers that are known for their salmon and Dolly Varden populations.

Overall, both parks offer a wide variety of outdoor activities for visitors, but the types of activities that are popular at each park are quite different. Bryce Canyon National Park is best known for its unique rock formations and stargazing opportunities, while Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is known for its large glaciers and backcountry hiking opportunities.

Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Bryce Canyon National Park, located in Utah, is known for its stunning hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock formed by erosion. The park has a high desert climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit is in the spring or fall, when temperatures are more moderate.

Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve, located in Alaska, is known for its vast wilderness and diverse landscapes, including glaciers, mountains, and rivers. The park has a subarctic climate, with cold temperatures and heavy snowfall in the winter and milder temperatures in the summer. The best time to visit is during the summer, when the weather is warmer and the days are longer. However, visitors should be prepared for unpredictable weather and bring appropriate gear and clothing.

Family Friendliness of Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Bryce Canyon National Park and Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve are both great for families, but offer different types of experiences. Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its unique hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock, and offers a variety of easy hiking trails and scenic drives for families to enjoy. There are also ranger-led programs and Junior Ranger activities available. On the other hand, Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve is a vast wilderness area and offers more rugged and remote experiences. The park has many opportunities for backpacking, camping, and fishing, but these activities are more challenging and require more planning. Families who enjoy outdoor adventures and are looking for a more remote wilderness experience may prefer Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve, but those who prefer shorter, easier hikes and more developed facilities may prefer Bryce Canyon National Park.

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