If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Glacier National Park and Grand Canyon 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.
Grand Canyon National Park Overview
Grand Canyon National Park, in northern Arizona, encompasses 278 miles (447 km) of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. Located on the ancestral homeland of 11 Associated Tribes, Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the worldâ€”unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers visitors on the rim. South Rim and North Rim are open 24 hours. Daily updates >
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 Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the United States. With over 1,000 miles of trails, there is something for everyone. The Bright Angel Trail is one of the most popular trails in the park. It is a relatively easy hike with gentle grades and well-maintained trail. However, it should not be taken lightly as the descent into the canyon can be challenging. The South Kaibab Trail is another popular option. It is shorter than the Bright Angel Trail but much steeper. Hikers should be aware of the dangers of hiking in the heat and be sure to carry plenty of water. The North Rim Trail is less crowded than the other trails but is more difficult due to its higher elevation. Finally, the Hermit Trail is considered to be one of the most difficult trails in Grand Canyon National Park. It is longer and steeper than the Bright Angel Trail and has very little shade. Hikers should only attempt this trail if they are experienced and in good physical condition.
Top 10 Hiking Trails at Grand Canyon National Park
|Hike Name||Elevation Gain||Difficulty Rating||Type||Average Rating|
|Grand Canyon Rim Village to Hermit’s Rest||424.8912||1||out and back||4.5|
|Desert View Visitor Center Trail||10.9728||1||loop||4|
|Coconino Overlook||141.732||1||out and back||4|
|Uncle Jim Trail||222.8088||1||loop||4|
|Dripping Springs via Dripping Springs and Hermit Trail||796.7472||5||out and back||4.5|
|North Kaibab Trail to Redwall Bridge||801.9288||5||out and back||5|
|Tanner Trail||1611.7824||7||out and back||5|
|South Kaibab, Tonto and Bright Angel Trail||1034.796||7||point to point||5|
|South to North Kaibab Trail||1966.8744||5||point to point||5|
|Point Imperial||6.7056||1||out and back||4.5|
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 Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is home to an incredible variety of plants and animals. Nearly 2,000 species of plants and more than 300 species of animals can be found within the park boundaries, making Grand Canyon one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world. Amongst the towering cliffs and raging rivers, you can find elk and mule deer roaming the forested plateaus, bighorn sheep climbing the rocky mountainsides, and pronghorn antelope running across the open grasslands. In the skies above, you may spot bald eagles soaring on updrafts or golden eagles hunting hares from a vantage point. In the depths of the canyon, you might see black bears foraging in riparian areas or cougars stalking their prey. Grand Canyon National Park is truly a wildlife paradise!
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.
Grand Canyon National Park Weather Considerations
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. And it’s no wonder, with its stunning views and rich history. But when is the best time to visit Grand Canyon National Park? The answer depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the wildflowers that blanket the canyon floor each spring, then March or April is the best time to go. However, if you’re not a fan of crowds, you may want to avoid peak season (July and August), when the park is busiest. December through February is considered the off-season at Grand Canyon National Park, so you may find lower prices and fewer crowds during these months. But keep in mind that the weather can be cold and snowy at this time of year. So, when it comes to Grand Canyon National Park weather, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It really depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation.