Carlsbad Caverns National Park vs. Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Feel Free To Share:

If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll take a look at what they have to offer in terms of hiking and wildlife, plus what the best time of year to visit might be.

Let’s get started with an overview of Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Overview

High ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus, and desert wildlife—treasures above the ground in the Chihuahuan Desert. Hidden beneath the surface are more than 119 caves—formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes.

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Overview

Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky.

Hiking At National Parks

Most national parks have some of the best hiking trails you’ll find anywhere in the US.

If you’re planning to take along your furry friend, double-check the rules before you go – as many of the parks have different rules about bringing animals along with you.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Hiking Trails

Carlsbad Caverns National Park offers a variety of hiking trails for visitors to explore. The easiest trail is the Natural Entrance Trail, which is just over a mile long and relatively flat. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Big Room Guided Tour takes hikers through some of the largest rooms in the cavern, including the Carlsbad Room and the Temple of the Sun. This trail is over two miles long and includes some steep sections. The most difficult trail at Carlsbad Caverns National Park is the Rattlesnake Canyon Trail. This trail is only accessible with a ranger-guided tour and includes several strenuous sections. However, it also rewards hikers with stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape. Regardless of which trail you choose, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is sure to offer an unforgettable hiking experience.

Best Hikes At Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The ratings below are based on user-submitted data at AllTrails.com

Hike Name Elevation Gain Difficulty Rating Type Average Rating
North Slaughter Canyon Trail 469.6968 3 out and back 4
Carlsbad Caverns Highway to Carlsbad Caverns National Park 309.9816 1 out and back 4
Juniper Ridge Trail 140.8176 1 out and back 3.5
Yucca Canyon Trail 443.7888 3 out and back 4
Slaughter Canyon Cave Trail 140.8176 3 out and back 5
Rattlesnake Canyon 207.8736 3 out and back 4
Walnut Canyon Trail 7.9248 1 out and back 2.5
Carlsbad Caverns National Park Trail 13.716 1 loop 5

Hiking Overview at Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is a hiker’s paradise, offering something for everyone from easy, scenic walks to challenging multi-day treks. Some of the most popular trails include the Chasm View Nature Trail, which offers stunning views of the Black Canyon; the Warner Point Nature Trail, which leads to a viewing platform overlooking the Gunnison River; and the Soapstone Nature Trail, which winds through a forest of aspen trees. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Black Canyon Trail offers a strenuous 16-mile round trip that takes hikers down into the Black Canyon itself. Regardless of your hiking experience or fitness level, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park has a trail that’s perfect for you.

Top 10 Hiking Trails at Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Hike Name Elevation Gain Difficulty Rating Type Average Rating
Gunnison Point Overlook 23.7744 1 out and back 4.5
Rim Rock Nature Trail 56.9976 3 out and back 4
Warner Route 924.7632 7 out and back 4.5
Cedar Point Nature Trail 4.8768 3 out and back 4.5
Dragon Point Trail 17.9832 1 out and back 4.5
High Point Trail 9.7536 3 out and back 4
East Portal Trail 5.7912 1 out and back 4
Pulpit Rock Overlook Trail 4.8768 1 out and back 4
Cross Fissures Trail 34.7472 1 out and back 4.5
Devils Lookout Trail 19.812 1 out and back 4.5

Wildlife at Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife. Visitors can expect to see everything from bats and birds to small mammals and lizards. The park also boasts a variety of plant life, including cacti, yucca, and ocotillo. In addition, Carlsbad Caverns is home to several endangered species, such as the Mexican long-nosed bat and the Carlsbad talus snail. With over 1,300 species of plants and animals, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is truly a nature lover’s paradise.

Wildlife at Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is home to an abundance of wildlife. You can expect to see animals such as bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, coyotes, and red-tailed hawks. Plant life includes scrub oak, pinyon pine, juniper, and sagebrush. The variety of wildlife and vegetation creates a habitat that is perfect for hiking, bird watching, and wildlife photography. So come on down to Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and get up close and personal with the amazing wildlife that calls this place home.

What’s the best time to visit?

A lot of times, weather can dictate when it makes the most sense to visit a particular national park.

Plus, depending on the types of activities you’re hoping to take part in, seasonality will be a huge factor in whether those things are even available.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Weather Considerations

Carlsbad Caverns National Park regulates its temperature at a cool 60 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. This makes it a great destination for those who want to escape the heat of summer or the cold of winter. However, the park does experience a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year, and some times of year are better suited for visiting than others. The spring and fall months are typically the best times to visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The weather is milder during these months, and there are often fewer crowds. However, the park is also beautiful during the winter, when it sometimes snows at the higher elevations. And although summer can be hot, it is also a great time to explore the caverns, which stay cool even on the hottest days. So whether you’re looking for mild weather or cooler temperatures, Carlsbad Caverns National Park has something to offer visitors all year round.

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park Weather Considerations

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. The canyon is extremely deep and narrow, and the views are simply stunning. However, the weather at Black Canyon can be quite extreme, and it’s important to know what to expect before you visit.

The best time to visit Black Canyon is during the spring or fall. The weather is milder during these months, and there are usually fewer crowds. However, if you’re planning on doing any hiking, be aware that the trails can be very icy in the spring.

The worst time to visit Black Canyon is during the summer. It can be incredibly hot in the canyon, and there is very little shade. If you do decide to visit during the summer, make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.