Grand Canyon National Park vs. Gateway Arch National Park

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If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Grand Canyon National Park and Gateway Arch 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.

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 world—unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers visitors on the rim. South Rim and North Rim are open 24 hours. Daily updates >

Gateway Arch National Park Overview

The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis’ role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The park is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson’s role in opening the West, to the pioneers who helped shape its history, and to Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse.

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 Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails in the country. The easiest trail is the Riverfront Trail, which runs along the Mississippi River and is perfect for a leisurely stroll. For something more challenging, try the Crissy Field West Bluff Trail, which offers stunning views of San Francisco Bay. Finally, the most difficult hike in the park is the Muir Woods Trail, which winds its way through dense forest and includes a steep climb to the top of Mount Tamalpais. Whichever trail you choose, you’re sure to have an enjoyable experience at Gateway Arch National Park.

Top 10 Hiking Trails at Gateway Arch National Park

Hike Name Elevation Gain Difficulty Rating Type Average Rating
St. Louis Riverfront Trail 109.728 1 loop 4
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial 20.7264 1 loop 4

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 Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including both plants and animals. The park is home to over 100 species of trees, as well as numerous shrubs, vines, and wildflowers. Visitors can also expect to see a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Some of the more popular animals include deer, squirrels, raccoons, and opossums. The park also has a wide variety of fish, including bass, catfish, and sunfish. With so much wildlife to explore, Gateway Arch National Park is a must-visit for any nature lover.

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.

Gateway Arch National Park Weather Considerations

Gateway Arch National Park is a beautiful place to visit all year round, but the weather can vary greatly depending on the time of year. The best time to visit if you’re looking for mild temperatures and low humidity is spring or fall. However, if you don’t mind a little heat, summer can also be a great time to enjoy all the park has to offer. The worst time to visit Gateway Arch National Park is during the winter, when temperatures can dip below freezing and the wind chill can make it feel even colder. If you do decide to visit during the winter, be sure to dress warmly and pack plenty of food and water. No matter when you visit Gateway Arch National Park, though, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.