Great Basin National Park vs. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

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If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Great Basin National Park and New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, 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.

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!

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Overview

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a beautiful and diverse destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Located in West Virginia, this expansive park spans more than 1,700 square miles and features rugged mountain scenery, winding rivers, picturesque waterfalls, steep canyons, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. With so much to see and do, New River Gorge is the perfect choice for anyone looking to get outside and explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re interested in hiking or biking along scenic trails or rafting or kayaking down rushing rivers, New River Gorge has something to offer everyone. So why not plan your next trip today? Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply a relaxing respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, New River Gorge is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. Get outside and discover what New River Gorge has to offer!

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
Lehman Cave 13.716 1 loop 4.5
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 New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

New River Gorge National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails in the country. The park, which is located in southern West Virginia, features more than 50 miles of trails that wind through a variety of terrains. While all of the trails offer stunning views of the New River Gorge, each one has its own unique challenges.

For those looking for an easy hike, the Fayetteville Trail is a great option. This two-mile trail winds through a forest and offers gentle elevation changes. The trail can be accessed from the Fayetteville Visitors Center and is perfect for families or those who are new to hiking.

For those looking for a more challenging hike, the New River Gorge Trail is the longest and most difficult trail in the park. This 31-mile trail follows the New River from one end of the gorge to the other. Along the way, hikers will need to navigate steep cliffs, narrow ledges, and deep ravines. The New River Gorge Trail is only recommended for experienced hikers who are properly prepared for a multi-day adventure.

Top 10 Hiking Trails at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Hike Name Elevation Gain Difficulty Rating Type Average Rating
Upper Sand Creek Lake Trail 598.932 7 out and back 4.5
Medano Lake Trail 697.992 3 out and back 4
Montville Nature Trail 26.8224 1 loop 4
Dunes Overlook Sand Ramp Trail 80.772 3 out and back 3.5
Little Medano Creek Trail to Medano Lake 1079.9064 3 out and back 4
Wellington Ditch Trail 47.8536 1 out and back 4
Dunes Overlook Trail 143.8656 3 out and back 4
Pinion Flats Campground Trail 26.8224 1 loop 4
High Dune Trail 191.7192 5 out and back 5
High and Star Dune Loop 403.86 3 loop 4.5

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 New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

At New River Gorge National Park, you can expect to see a wide range of beautiful wildlife. Whether you’re gazing at towering trees or trekking through muddy marshes, you are sure to encounter an array of animals and plants along the way. Some of the most common species include deer, foxes, squirrels, turkeys, wild turkeys, salamanders, snakes, lizards, hawks, eagles, crows and blue jays. Additionally, New River Gorge is home to many different types of flora including ferns, mosses, conifers and deciduous trees. Whether you’re exploring on your own or partaking in one of the park’s many guided tours and hikes, New River Gorge has something to offer for all nature-lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike!

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.

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Weather Considerations

New River Gorge National Park is a great place to visit any time of year, but the best time to go depends on what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re interested in hiking, the spring and fall are ideal because the temperatures are moderate and there’s less chance of rain. However, if you’re looking to whitewater raft, the summer is the best time to visit since that’s when the water level is at its highest. On the other hand, winter can be a magical time at New River Gorge National Park, especially if you’re hoping to see some snow. So whether you’re looking for adventure or peace and quiet, be sure to check the New River Gorge National Park weather forecast before planning your trip.