If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Great Basin National Park and Badlands 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 Great Basin National Park.
Table Of Contents
Great Basin National Park Overview
From the 13,063-foot summit of Wheeler Peak, to the sage-covered foothills, Great Basin National Park is a place to sample the stunning diversity of the larger Great Basin region. Come and partake of the solitude of the wilderness, walk among ancient bristlecone pines, bask in the darkest of night skies, and explore mysterious subterranean passages. There’s a whole lot more than just desert here!
Badlands National Park Overview
Badlands National Park is an incredible natural landscape located in the US state of South Dakota. Founded in 1941, Badlands is known for its sweeping canyons, rolling hills, and dramatic rock formations. The park is renowned for its rich variety of plants and animals, ranging from prickly cactus plants to bighorn sheep. There are also a number of historic sites within Badlands National Park, including Native American settlements and homesteads that exemplify the adventurous spirit of early settlers in the area. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day hiking through scenic vistas or exploring the fascinating history of this iconic national park, Badlands has something for everyone!
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.
Great Basin National Park Hiking Trails
Great Basin National Park is home to a variety of hiking trails, from easy walks to challenging treks. The Great Basin Visitor Center is the best place to start exploring the park, and the Bristlecone and Glacier trails are two of the most popular options. The Bristlecone trail is a short and easy hike that winds through a forest of ancient bristlecone pines, while the Glacier trail is a longer and more difficult hike that takes hikers up to an alpine lake. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Wheeler Peak trail is the highest point in the park and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. No matter what your level of experience, Great Basin National Park has a hiking trail that’s perfect for you.
Best Hikes At Great Basin National Park
The ratings below are based on user-submitted data at AllTrails.com
|Hike Name||Elevation Gain||Difficulty Rating||Type||Average Rating|
|Bristlecone and Alpine Lakes Loop||308.7624||3||loop||4.5|
|Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive||1175.9184||1||out and back||4.5|
|Baker Lake Trail||813.816||5||out and back||4.5|
|Teresa Lake||92.964||3||out and back||5|
|Baker Lake-Johnson Lake Loop||1330.7568||5||loop||4.5|
|Lexington Arch Trail||340.7664||3||out and back||4|
|Wheeler Peak Trail via Alpine Lakes Trail||940.9176||5||out and back||5|
|Stella Lake Trail||134.7216||3||out and back||4.5|
|Lehman Creek Trail||755.904||5||out and back||4|
Hiking Overview at Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails in the country. For those looking for an easy hike, the one-mile Notch Trail is a great option. The trailhead is located near the park visitor center, and the trail itself is relatively flat and well-maintained. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the seven-mile Castle Trail is a great option. The trailhead is located near the high point of Badlands Loop Road, and the trail features a number of steep climbs. However, hikers are rewarded with stunning views of Badlands formations along the way.
Top 10 Hiking Trails at Badlands National Park
|Hike Name||Elevation Gain||Difficulty Rating||Type||Average Rating|
|Sage Creek Loop||245.9736||5||loop||4|
|Sheep Mountain Table Road||180.7464||3||out and back||4.5|
|Notch Trail||39.9288||3||out and back||4.5|
|The Door Trail||10.9728||3||out and back||4.5|
|Saddle Pass Trail||65.8368||3||out and back||4.5|
|Medicine Root Loop Trail||102.7176||1||loop||4|
|The Window Trail||1.8288||1||out and back||4|
|Cliff Shelf Nature Trail||19.812||1||loop||4|
|Fossil Exhibit Trail||3.9624||1||out and back||3.5|
Wildlife at Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including both plants and animals. Among the park’s animals are several species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds. The Great Basin National Park is also home to a variety of plant life, including many types of trees, shrubs, and flowers. Visitors to the park can expect to see a variety of wildlife, including both plants and animals.
Wildlife at Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park is home to a diverse array of plants and animals. The park’s landscape includes prairies, grasslands, and Badlands formations, providing habitat for many different species. Visitors to the park can expect to see bison, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, elk, and mule deer. Badlands National Park is also home to a variety of reptiles, including snakes and lizards. In addition, the park is home to more than 400 species of birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers. With such a diverse array of wildlife, Badlands National Park is an excellent place to enjoy the outdoors and observe some of America’s most iconic animals.
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.
Great Basin National Park Weather Considerations
Great Basin National Park is located in Nevada, and it experiences a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year. In the winter, the park gets a lot of snow, and temperatures can drop below freezing. The spring and fall are generally milder, but there can still be snow at higher elevations. The summer is the busiest time of year at the park, as the weather is warm and sunny. However, thunderstorms are common in the summer months, so visitors should be prepared for some wet weather. Overall, the best time to visit Great Basin National Park is in the summer or fall when the weather is more stable. However, no matter what time of year you visit Great Basin National Park, be sure to come prepared for all types of weather conditions.
Badlands National Park Weather Considerations
Badlands National Park experiences a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year. Temperatures can vary widely, from below freezing in the winter to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. The park also receives a significant amount of rainfall, which can make hiking and camping difficult. As a result, the best time to visit Badlands National Park depends on what activities you want to do. If you’re interested in hiking and camping, the spring months are typically the best time to go, as the weather is milder and there is less chance of rain. However, if you’re simply looking to enjoy the scenery, any time of year can be a good time to visit. No matter when you go, Badlands National Park is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.