Capitol Reef National Park vs Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Feel Free To Share:

If you’re looking for a scenic adventure, look no further than Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve! These two parks offer a unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor recreation, making them must-visit destinations for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Capitol Reef boasts towering sandstone cliffs, winding canyons, and a rich history, while Lake Clark is home to pristine glaciers, sparkling lakes, and diverse wildlife. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful hike through rolling hills or an adrenaline-fueled kayaking trip, these parks are sure to deliver. So pack your bags, grab your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through two of America’s most stunning parks!

Hiking Trails in Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve both offer unique and diverse hiking opportunities for visitors. In Capitol Reef, popular hikes include the Grand Wash Trail, Cassidy Arch Trail, and Chimney Rock Trail, which range from easy to moderate in difficulty. The Grand Wash Trail is a scenic and easy hike that follows a narrow canyon, while the Cassidy Arch Trail offers a moderate hike to a stunning arch with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Chimney Rock Trail is a strenuous hike that leads to a towering rock formation with views of the surrounding desert.

On the other hand, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve offers a more remote and rugged hiking experience. The park is known for its backcountry hiking, with trails that lead to glaciers, alpine lakes, and rugged coastal areas. Some of the most popular hikes include the Tanalian Falls Trail, Port Alsworth Trail, and the Twin Lakes Trail, which range from easy to strenuous. The Tanalian Falls Trail is a short and easy hike to a stunning waterfall, while the Port Alsworth Trail offers a moderate hike through the park’s coastal lowlands. The Twin Lakes Trail is a strenuous hike that leads to two remote alpine lakes surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.

In conclusion, both parks offer unique hiking experiences, with Capitol Reef offering a variety of hikes in the desert landscape and Lake Clark offering more remote and rugged hikes in the wilderness. The level of difficulty and type of hike will depend on personal preference and physical ability.

Most Popular Hiking Trails in Capitol Reef National Park

Name Length Elevation Type Difficulty Visitor Ratings
Hickman Bridge Trail 1.70 mi 426.40 ft out and back Moderate 4.5/5
Cassidy Arch Trail 2.89 mi 701.92 ft out and back Moderate 4.5/5
Grand Wash Trail via Northeast Trailhead 4.39 mi 400.16 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Chimney Rock Loop Trail 3.29 mi 793.76 ft loop Moderate 4.5/5
Cohab Canyon Trail 2.99 mi 793.76 ft out and back Moderate 4.5/5
Navajo Knobs Trail 8.68 mi 2,135.28 ft out and back Hard 4.5/5
Goosenecks & Sunset Point 2.49 mi 544.48 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Capitol Gorge Trail 4.49 mi 373.92 ft out and back Moderate 4/5
Sulphur Creek Route 11.47 mi 1,403.84 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Rim Overlook Trail 4.09 mi 1,052.88 ft out and back 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 Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve both offer unique and diverse wildlife experiences. Capitol Reef is home to a variety of mammals including mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, and mountain lions. It is also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 250 species of birds including the peregrine falcon, golden eagle, and the western tanager. The park’s vegetation ranges from deserts to high-altitude forests, and visitors can see a variety of plants including cacti, wildflowers, and pinyon pines.

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is known for its abundant wildlife, including brown and black bears, moose, caribou, and wolves. The park is also home to over 200 species of birds, including the bald eagle, trumpeter swan, and the common loon. Visitors to the park can see a wide range of plant life, including wildflowers, mosses, and shrubs. The park’s diverse landscapes, from glaciers to tundra, provide habitats for a variety of plant and animal species.

In conclusion, both parks offer unique and diverse wildlife experiences, but visitors to Lake Clark National Park & Preserve are more likely to see a wider range of animals, including bears, moose, and caribou.

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

Birds

Capitol Reef 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
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 Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail American Wigeon
American Wigeon Green-Winged Teal
Green-Winged Teal American Pipit

Mammals

Capitol Reef 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
Ermine Pygmy Shrew
California Myotis Meadow Jumping Mouse

Fish

Capitol Reef National Park Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Rainbow Trout Steelhead
Brown Trout Longnose Sucker
Bluegill Lake Trout
Mottled Sculpin Northern Pike
Speckled Dace Burbot
Black Bullhead Silver Salmon
Cutthroat Trout King Salmon
Slimy Sculpin
Threespine Stickleback
Sockeye Salmon
Pink Salmon
Chum Salmon
Dolly Varden
Arctic Grayling

Amphibians

Capitol Reef National Park Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Northern Leopard Frog Wood Frog
Tiger Salamander
Woodhouse’s Toad
Red-Spotted Toad
Canyon Treefrog

Beautiful Landscapes in Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve both offer breathtaking landscapes that are sure to leave visitors in awe. At Capitol Reef, the most famous landscapes include the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile long wrinkle in the earth’s crust, and the Capitol Dome, a towering sandstone formation that rises above the surrounding landscape. Visitors can also take in scenic views from overlooks like Grand Wash and Cassidy Arch, or hike to the base of the towering cliffs along the Grand Wash Trail.

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is known for its stunning glaciers, including the Tanalian Glacier and the Twin Lakes Glacier, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The park is also home to sparkling lakes like Lake Clark and Iliamna Lake, which are surrounded by towering peaks and lush forests. Visitors can also take in stunning views from overlooks like the Telaquana Overlook, or hike to the top of the Chigmit Mountains for panoramic views of the park.

In conclusion, Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve both offer breathtaking landscapes that are sure to leave visitors in awe. Whether you’re admiring towering sandstone formations, exploring scenic canyons, or taking in panoramic views from mountain tops, these parks are sure to deliver an unforgettable experience.

Things To-Do and Activities in Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve offer a range of recreational activities for visitors.

At Capitol Reef, popular activities include hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and scenic drives. The park boasts many trails, including the Grand Wash Trail and the Capitol Gorge Trail, which offer stunning views of the park’s unique rock formations and canyons. The park is also a popular destination for wildlife viewing, with opportunities to see bighorn sheep, mule deer, and other wildlife.

At Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. The park is known for its stunning glaciers and alpine tundra, as well as its abundant wildlife, including bears, moose, and caribou. Many visitors come to the park to fish for salmon in the park’s rivers and lakes, or to take a scenic flightseeing tour to see the park’s glaciers and wildlife from above.

Overall, both parks offer a range of recreational activities for visitors, but the focus of the activities is different. Capitol Reef is known for its hiking and scenic drives, while Lake Clark is known for its fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Best Time to Visit Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve have different seasonal weather patterns. Capitol Reef National Park is located in the desert region of Utah and experiences hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit is from April to June and from September to November, when temperatures are mild and comfortable for outdoor activities. On the other hand, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is located in Alaska and has a subarctic climate with cool summers and long, harsh winters. The best time to visit is during the summer months, from June to September, when temperatures are warmer and the weather is more favorable for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking. However, visitors should be prepared for unpredictable weather, including rain, fog, and strong winds, as well as mosquitos. The weather in both parks can greatly affect the type of activities that are possible and the best time to visit, so it’s important to research and plan accordingly.

Family Friendliness of Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

Capitol Reef National Park and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve are both great destinations for families, but each park offers a unique experience that may appeal to different families. Capitol Reef is considered to be more family-friendly, as it offers a variety of short, easy hikes that are perfect for families with young children. Popular trails include the Capitol Gorge Trail, which takes visitors through a narrow canyon and past historic petroglyphs, and the Rim Overlook Trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, the park offers a variety of ranger-led programs and educational activities that are perfect for families.

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, on the other hand, is a more rugged and remote destination that may be less suitable for families with young children. The park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including kayaking, fishing, and wildlife viewing, but these activities may be more challenging for families with young children. Additionally, the park’s remote location and limited infrastructure make it a less convenient destination for families.

In conclusion, Capitol Reef National Park is considered to be a more family-friendly destination, with a variety of easy hikes and educational activities that are perfect for families with young children. Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is a more rugged and remote destination that may be more suitable for families with older children who are interested in outdoor activities like kayaking and fishing.

Leave a Comment