If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Glacier National Park and Death Valley 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 Glacier National Park.
Table Of Contents
Glacier National Park Overview
A showcase of melting glaciers, alpine meadows, carved valleys, and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness steeped in human history. Relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, and the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Death Valley National Park Overview
In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life thrives in Death Valley.
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.
Glacier National Park Hiking Trails
Glacier National Park is renowned for its stunning scenery and breath-taking views. The park offers a wide variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to strenuous treks. Some of the most popular trails include the short but sweet Glacier Point trail, which leads to an overlook with sweeping views of the Canyon; the moderate but rewarding Mist Trail, which takes hikers past two of the park’s most iconic waterfalls; and the strenuous but unforgettable Highline Trail, which traverses along a narrow ridge with dizzying drop-offs on either side. There truly is something for everyone at Glacier National Park. So lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail!
Best Hikes At Glacier National Park
The ratings below are based on user-submitted data at AllTrails.com
|Hike Name||Elevation Gain||Difficulty Rating||Type||Average Rating|
|McDonald Creek Via Johns Lake||79.8576||3||out and back||4|
|Lake McDonald Trail||379.7808||1||out and back||3.5|
|Otokomi Lake||701.9544||5||out and back||4.5|
|Sun Point Nature Trail||64.9224||1||out and back||4|
|Bowman Lake Trail||941.832||5||out and back||4|
|Two Medicine Lake Loop||218.8464||3||loop||4.5|
|Baring Falls Via Piegan Pass Trail||19.812||1||out and back||4.5|
|Aster Park||202.9968||7||out and back||4.5|
|Ptarmigan Trail to Cosley Lake||1759.9152||7||out and back||5|
|Boulder Pass Trail||1406.9568||3||point to point||5|
Hiking Overview at Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a hiker’s paradise, with a wide variety of trails to suit all levels of experience. For those looking for an easy hike, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes trail is a great option. This trail is only a mile long and is mostly level, making it perfect for a leisurely stroll. For those looking for more of a challenge, the hikes to Telescope Peak or Panamint Springs are well worth the effort. Both trails are over 10 miles long and involve significant elevation gain, but the views from the summit are simply breathtaking. No matter what your level of experience, Death Valley National Park has a hiking trail that’s perfect for you.
Top 10 Hiking Trails at Death Valley National Park
|Hike Name||Elevation Gain||Difficulty Rating||Type||Average Rating|
|Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop||1710.8424||7||loop||4.5|
|Panamint Dunes Trail||165.8112||3||loop||4.5|
|Ubehebe and Little Hebe Crater Trail||220.98||1||loop||4|
|Salt Creek Interpretive Trail||7.9248||1||loop||4|
|Grotto Canyon||204.8256||3||out and back||4|
|Darwin Falls Trail||251.7648||3||out and back||4|
|Fall Canyon Trail||656.844||3||out and back||4|
|Echo Pass and Inyo Mine OHV Loop||396.8496||3||loop||4.5|
|Zabriskie Point and Gower Gulch Path Loop||125.8824||3||loop||4.5|
|Harmony Borax Works||6.7056||1||loop||3.5|
Wildlife at Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is home to an incredible variety of plants and animals. Visitors can expect to see everything from bighorn sheep and grizzly bears to delicate wildflowers and towering Douglas firs. The park’s diverse ecosystems support a wide range of wildlife, and Glacier is considered one of the best places in North America to view animals in their natural habitat. In addition to the Big Five (bison, elk, moose, mountain goats, and deer), Glacier is also home to wolves, wolverines, lynx, eagles, and many other species of birds and mammals. With over 1 million acres of wilderness to explore, Glacier National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Wildlife at Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is home to a diverse array of plants and animals. Despite its arid climate, the park is home to more than 800 species of plants, including Joshua trees, creosote bushes, and wildflowers. The park is also home to more than 300 species of animals, including bighorn sheep, coyotes, bobcats, and desert tortoises. In addition, the park is home to a variety of reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Death Valley National Park is an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts of all ages.
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.
Glacier National Park Weather Considerations
Glacier National Park is a beautiful place to visit, no matter what time of year it is. However, the weather can vary greatly depending on when you go. The best time to visit Glacier National Park is in the summertime. From June to August, the weather is typically warm and sunny, with temperatures ranging from the high 20s to low 30s Celsius. This makes it perfect for hiking, camping, and enjoying all of the other activities that Glacier National Park has to offer. The worst time to visit Glacier National Park is in the wintertime. From December to February, the weather is typically cold and snowy, with temperatures ranging from -10 to -20 Celsius. This can make it difficult to get around and enjoy all that Glacier National Park has to offer. So if you’re planning a trip to Glacier National Park, be sure to check the weather forecast in advance so you can plan accordingly.
Death Valley National Park Weather Considerations
Death Valley National Park is one of the hottest places on Earth. Temperatures in the summer can exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is very little shade or relief from the heat. Death Valley is also extremely dry, with almost no rainfall for months at a time. As a result, the best time to visit Death Valley is in the winter, when temperatures are cooler and there is more chance of rain. However, even in winter, Death Valley can be dangerously hot, so always be sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection.