If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Grand Canyon 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 Grand Canyon National Park.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Grand Canyon National Park Overview
- 2 Death Valley National Park Overview
- 3 Hiking At National Parks
- 4 Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Trails
- 5 Hiking Overview at Death Valley National Park
- 6 Wildlife at Grand Canyon National Park
- 7 Wildlife at Death Valley National Park
- 8 What’s the best time to visit?
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 >
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.
Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Trails
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.
Best Hikes At Grand Canyon National Park
The ratings below are based on user-submitted data at AllTrails.com
|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|
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 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!
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.
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.
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.