Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve vs. Katmai National Park & Preserve

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If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve and Katmai National Park & 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 Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve.

Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve Overview

Wrangell-St. Elias is a vast national park that rises from the ocean all the way up to 18,008 ft. At 13.2 million acres, the park is the same size as Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland combined! Within this wild landscape, people continue to live off the land as they have done for centuries. This rugged, beautiful land is filled with opportunities for adventure.

Katmai National Park & Preserve Overview

A landscape is alive underneath our feet, filled with creatures that remind us what it is to be wild. Katmai was established in 1918 to protect the volcanically devastated region surrounding Novarupta and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Today, Katmai National Park and Preserve also protects 9,000 years of human history and important habitat for salmon and thousands of brown bears.

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.

Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve Hiking Trails

Wrangell – St Elias National Park is a haven for hikers of all levels of experience. Novice hikers can start with the easy Crosswind Lake trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains without too much elevation gain. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Crescent Lake trail is a great option. It is longer than the Crosswind Lake trail and has a steeper elevation gain, but it is still considered to be relatively easy. More experienced hikers can tackle one of the park’s difficult trails, such as the Donoho Peak trail, which summits one of the park’s tallest peaks. Wrangell – St Elias National Park is truly a paradise for hikers of all levels of ability.

Best Hikes At Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

The ratings below are based on user-submitted data at AllTrails.com

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

Hiking Overview at Katmai National Park & Preserve

Katmai National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails in Alaska. The park offers a variety of trails, ranging from easy walks to strenuous hikes. For those looking for a leisurely walk, the Brooks River Trail is a great option. The trail follows the Brooks River, and there are several spots along the way where you can stop to view the river and surrounding mountains. The Naknek Lake Trail is another popular choice for those looking for an easy hike. The trail circles Naknek Lake, and offers beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains. For those seeking a more challenging hike, the Dumpling Mountain Trail is a great option. The trail climbs to the top of Dumpling Mountain, and provides panoramic views of Katmai National Park. Another difficult hike is the Mt. Katmai Trail, which summit Mt. Katmai, the highest peak in the park. However, the views from the top are well worth the effort required to reach it. No matter what your hiking level, Katmai National Park has a trail that is perfect for you.

Top 10 Hiking Trails at Katmai National Park & Preserve

Hike Name Elevation Gain Difficulty Rating Type Average Rating
Brooks Falls 63.7032 1 out and back 4.5
Dumpling Mountain 225.8568 3 out and back 4

Wildlife at Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve

Wrangell – St Elias National Park is a mecca for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to an incredible array of animals, including bears, moose, wolves, and caribou. In addition, the park is also home to a variety of plant life, including tundra plants and towering spruce trees. With so much to see and explore, Wrangell – St Elias National Park is the perfect place to get up close and personal with some of Alaska’s most amazing wildlife.

Wildlife at Katmai National Park & Preserve

Katmai National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including both plants and animals. Some of the most common animals you’ll see in the park are brown bears, moose, bald eagles, and salmon. As for plants, Katmai is home to a wide variety of trees and shrubs, including spruce, hemlock, cottonwood, and alder. In addition to its abundant plant and animal life, Katmai National Park is also famous for its volcanoes. The park includes several active and inactive volcanoes, as well as the world’s largest volcanic crater lake. With its unique combination of wildlife and volcanic activity, Katmai National Park is a truly fascinating place.

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.

Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve Weather Considerations

Wrangell – St Elias National Park is one of the largest national parks in the United States, and it is known for its varied and extreme weather conditions. The park experiences very cold winters, with average temperatures ranging from -20 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the summers are relatively mild, with average temperatures ranging from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to visit the park is during the summer months, when the weather is more conducive to outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. However, visitors should be aware that the early summer months can be rainy, so it is best to plan accordingly. The worst time to visit the park is during the winter, when temperatures are at their lowest and conditions are often treacherous. If you do choose to visit during this time, be sure to bring appropriate clothing and gear to ensure your safety.

Katmai National Park & Preserve Weather Considerations

Katmai National Park is located in Alaska and is known for its diverse wildlife and stunning scenery. The park experiences a wide range of weather conditions, from the cold winters to the hot summers. The best time to visit Katmai National Park is during the summer months when the weather is warm and there is an abundance of wildlife. However, the park can be crowded during this time of year, so visitors should be prepared for large crowds. The worst time to visit Katmai National Park is during the winter months when the weather is cold and there is a risk of avalanches. However, the park is less crowded during this time of year, so visitors may be able to find more solitude.