Death Valley National Park vs Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

Feel Free To Share:

Death Valley National Park vs Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

Death Valley National Park and Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve are two vastly different wilderness areas that both offer unique and spectacular experiences to visitors. While Death Valley is known for its scorching hot temperatures, barren landscapes and multi-hued sand dunes, Gates of the Arctic is comprised of remote, rugged tundra and pristine wilderness dotted with glaciers, lakes and rivers. Whether you are seeking a chance to escape the heat and explore a landscape of ice and snow, or a desert adventure filled with unique geological formations and vibrant sunsets, these two parks will not disappoint. Get ready to be amazed, as we take a closer look at these two contrasting yet equally captivating destinations.

Hiking Trails in Death Valley National Park and Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

Death Valley National Park and Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve are two of the most popular national parks in the US, and they each offer unique hiking experiences. In Death Valley, trails range from relatively easy walks to strenuous hikes, with well-established trails and marked paths. Hikes such as the Mosaic Canyon Trail (2.5 miles) and the Natural Bridge Canyon Trail (0.3 miles) are moderate and offer stunning views of the park’s unique geological features. On the other hand, Gates of the Arctic is known for its rugged, backcountry hikes with no established trails, such as the Arrigetch Peaks (30 miles) and the Boreal Forest to Arctic Divide (35 miles). These hikes offer challenging experiences for the more adventurous hiker and provide the opportunity to immerse oneself in the park’s pristine wilderness.

For those seeking a more strenuous hike, Death Valley has the Father Crowley Vista Point Trail (7.2 miles), a steep hike with panoramic views of the valley. At Gates of the Arctic, the Kobuk Valley (2.5 miles) is a relatively flat hike through the world’s largest sand dunes. Both parks offer a range of hiking options, from easy to challenging, and each park provides a unique and memorable experience.

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

Most Popular Hiking Trails in Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

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

Wildlife in Death Valley National Park and Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

Death Valley NP is known for its harsh desert environment with unique wildlife adaptations, such as the desert bighorn sheep, rattlesnakes, and roadrunners. In contrast, Gates of the Arctic NP is located in the Alaskan interior and has a subarctic climate, offering a diverse range of wildlife such as grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and wolves. In terms of plants, Death Valley NP is home to a variety of cactus species and wildflowers that bloom in spring, while Gates of the Arctic NP is characterized by arctic tundra with low-lying vegetation and mosses. Both parks offer birdwatching opportunities with species like golden eagles and peregrine falcons in Death Valley, and species such as the gyrfalcon and willow ptarmigan in Gates of the Arctic.

Below are lists of the most commonly spotted wildlife at Death Valley National Park and Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve. However, you can see a full list of wildlife at each national park here.

Birds

Death Valley National Park Gates Of The Arctic 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 Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow Hermit Thrush
Great Blue Heron American Kestrel
Hermit Thrush Bald Eagle
American Kestrel Northern Pintail
Bald Eagle American Wigeon
Song Sparrow Green-Winged Teal
European Starling American Pipit
Northern Pintail Swainson’s Thrush
American Wigeon Hairy Woodpecker
Green-Winged Teal Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Mammals

Death Valley National Park Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve
Coyote Coyote
Muskrat American Beaver
Big Brown Bat Muskrat
Bobcat Black Bear
Little Brown Bat Porcupine
Deer Mouse Red Fox
Raccoon Mink
Porcupine Wolf
Silver-Haired Bat Short-Tailed Weasel
Hoary Bat Varying Hare
House Mouse River Otter
Mountain Lion Common Shrew
Mule Deer Red Squirrel
Gray Fox Montane Shrew
Long-Legged Myotis Lynx
Long-Eared Myotis Wolverine
Badger American Marten
Californian Myotis Grizzly Bear
Fringed Myotis Meadow Vole
Common Shrew Moose
Mexican Free-Tailed Bat Least Weasel
Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat Pygmy Shrew
Bushy-Tailed Woodrat Northern Bog Lemming
Western Harvest Mouse
Western Small-Footed Myotis

Fish

Death Valley National Park Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve
Largemouth Bass Longnose Sucker
Mosquitofish Lake Trout
Goldfish Northern Pike
Eelpout
King Salmon
Slimy Sculpin
Chum Salmon
Dolly Varden
Arctic Grayling

Amphibians

Death Valley National Park Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve
Woodhouse’s Toad Wood Frog
Canyon Treefrog

Beautiful Landscapes in Death Valley National Park and Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

Death Valley National Park is known for its unique landscapes like Badwater Basin (lowest elevation in N. America), Zabriskie Point (panoramic views), sand dunes, salt flats and canyons.

Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve in Alaska boasts remote wilderness and stunning mountain ranges like Brooks Range and glaciers. The park is also home to the Noatak River surrounded by pristine wilderness and beautiful arctic valleys.

Things To-Do and Activities in Death Valley National Park and Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

Death Valley NP offers hot, diverse terrain with activities like hiking, camping, scenic drives and ranger programs. Gates of the Arctic NP is a remote wilderness w/ backpacking, fishing, kayaking and wildlife viewing. Death Valley attracts desert adventure seekers; Gates of the Arctic appeals to wilderness enthusiasts.

Best Time to Visit Death Valley National Park and Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

Death Valley NP in California and Gates of the Arctic NP&P in Alaska have vastly different climates. Death Valley is one of the hottest and driest places in the world, with summer temperatures often exceeding 120°F. Winter temperatures are mild, with daytime highs in the 60s and 70s°F. In contrast, Gates of the Arctic is located in a subarctic climate, with long, harsh winters and short, cool summers. Winter temperatures can drop below -40°F, while summer temperatures average in the 40s°F. The best time to visit Death Valley is during the winter, while Gates of the Arctic is best visited in the summer, when the weather is milder and there is more daylight.

Family Friendliness of Death Valley National Park and Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

Death Valley is hot and remote, not ideal for families. Gates Of The Arctic is a rugged wilderness, challenging for families due to remoteness and harsh weather. The best park for a family visit depends on family interests, comfort and children’s age.

Leave a Comment