A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Grand Canyon National Park vs. Denali National Park for Couples, Backpackers, Hiking, and Resorts

Should you visit Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is a gorgeous, striking, and breathtaking national park. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the hiking.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is a rugged, spectacular, and epic park. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking.

Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the sunset views
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Denali (Mount McKinley)
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Grand Canyon National Park. Although Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park are popular destinations, Grand Canyon National Park has more sights and attractions for tourists. Grand Canyon National Park is very popular for its hiking, while Denali National Park attracts visitors for its museums, nightlife, and shopping. Grand Canyon National Park is more touristy than Denali National Park and is known for its iconic beauty, layers of color, breathtaking sunsets, and world-renowned geological history. It is also well known for the sunset views. Denali National Park is famous for its vast wilderness and iconic Alaskan wildlife.

How is Grand Canyon National Park different from Denali National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Denali National Park and Grand Canyon National Park. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

Denali National Park is a decent place to visit for its museums and history. However, Grand Canyon National Park does not have museums and landmarks.

While most people don't head to Denali National Park specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. Denali's Museum Collection includes more than 25,000 different items that reflect the region's history, culture, and geology.

Grand Canyon National Park does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at reasonable restaurants in both Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park.

Grand Canyon National Park offers some easy restaurants to choose from. There are several markets, restaurants, and cafes in the park but, in general, the options are expensive and not the best. If possible, bring your own food and plan for a picnic with a view.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Denali National Park. During the summer months there are restaurants open along Highway 3 as well as the Morino Grill near the Denali Visitor Center.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park Better for Nightlife?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

Denali National Park is not a good area for nightlife. However, Grand Canyon National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Denali National Park doesn't offer many options. Visitors come to the park to see the nature, not for the nightlife.

Grand Canyon National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park Better for Resorts?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

There are nice resorts to choose from in both Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park.

Grand Canyon National Park has a handful of resorts to choose from. There are several options within and near the park that range from luxury to affordable. Reservations should be made well in advance for most hotels within the park. Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel, Grand Canyon Lodge (North Rim) and Phantom Ranch are all unique places to stay.

With a selection of resorts, Denali National Park makes a nice vacation spot. Most visitors stay nearby the Denali Park Entrance. It has the most affordable hotels and lodges, some of which have a lot of personality. Alternatively, you could stay in the more remote area of Kantishna. These lodges are more expensive and all-inclusive, but they are also far away from most conveniences.


Is Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park Better for Hiking?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is a great national park for hiking. Also, Denali National Park is not as popular, but is still a nice park for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Grand Canyon National Park for the hiking trails. Hiking options at the Grand Canyon include an easy walk along the rim or a hike into the canyon. If you're planning to enjoy a view from the rim and then stroll along the rim walk, a day or two is plenty. Hiking into the canyon is a thrilling experience, but it does require more preparation and planning. You should also check out the weather before you depart as temperatures within the canyon can become dangerously hot.

Denali National Park has hiking trails worth exploring. If you're looking for a marked trail, there are limited options within the park. Those that do exist are located near the park entrance and are usually just a couple of miles long. Off-trail hiking is what makes for the most memorable experience. Make sure you stop off at the visitor center for information and knowledge before you venture into the wilderness without a trail. For obvious reasons, you should fully understand what this entails before beginning your adventure.

Is the Shopping Better in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

Denali National Park is a decent place to visit for shopping. However, Grand Canyon National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Denali National Park is a good destination for shopping. There are several park stores and shops in and near the park where you can pick up gifts, books, and souvenirs.

Grand Canyon National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park Better for Families?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

Both Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park are nice family-friendly destinations.

Grand Canyon National Park is a family-friendly national park. This park is a spectacular landmark with a number of nature programs that kids can enjoy. There's also a simple rim walk along the edge of the canyon that is perfect for little legs.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Denali National Park. Most people visit the park as part of a tour, so it's important to book a tour that is designed with families in mind. This will help ensure the kids stay entertained even during long bus rides.


Is Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park Better for Couples?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is a must-visit destination for its romantic activities. Also, Denali National Park is not as popular, but is still a nice park for couples.

For those traveling as a couple, Grand Canyon National Park has plenty to offer. Couples who enjoy beauty, nature, and adventure will appreciate a visit to this park. There are amazing hikes and breathtaking views that make this a truly romantic destination. There are also several hotels and lodges that make for a truly romantic getaway (book well in advance!).

Denali National Park is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples who enjoy outdoor adventures and stunning scenery will find the ultimate romance in this impressive park.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park are both first-rate destinations for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Grand Canyon National Park. Backpackers and budget travelers can take in one of America's most notable landmarks while camping at the large and affordable national park campground.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Denali National Park. There are millions of acres in the park as well as campgrounds, hostels, and vast backcountry (which requires a permit).

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

Visitors will find reasonable public transit in both Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park.

Public transit is mostly limited in Grand Canyon National Park. There are free shuttle buses that run along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Public transit is generally limited in Denali National Park. There are free shuttle buses that leave from the entrance area, but many visitors organize a tour to get around.


Is Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park a more walkable city?

Grand Canyon National Park
Denali National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is very good for its high level of walkability. However, Denali National Park is not known for its ease of walking around.

Grand Canyon National Park is a somewhat walkable place. There's a nice rim walk that is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll, but to reach many parts of the park you'll want to have a car or plan to take some form of transit.

Denali National Park is not a walkable national park. The park is vast and you need some form of transportation to get around, whether it's a private vehicle or a pre-arranged tour.

For even more information, also check out Is Grand Canyon National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Denali National Park Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Denali National Park or Grand Canyon National Park?

How long in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

It's fun to spend time in either Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park. Both can be explored in comparable amounts of time. In general, 1-4 days is a good amount of time for Grand Canyon National Park, and 2-4 days is enough time in Denali National Park.

Couples should spend more time in Grand Canyon National Park than Denali National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Grand Canyon National Park that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Denali National Park than Grand Canyon National Park if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Denali National Park.


  • How many days in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    Grand Canyon National Park 1-4 
    Denali National Park 2-4

One day in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the beautiful destination of Grand Canyon National Park. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Grand Canyon National Park has to offer.

In Denali National Park, many people enjoy the that this epic destination offers. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

Grand Canyon National Park is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this national park has to offer. This national park offers a variety of activities to choose from.

In Denali National Park, many people enjoy the that this beautiful destination offers. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Many people spend a weekend here. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.


Five days in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

Many people visit Grand Canyon National Park for five days. You'll find around the beautiful national park of Grand Canyon National Park. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Many people enjoy the when visiting Denali National Park. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. This park offers something for everyone.

A week in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

The world-renowned destination of Grand Canyon National Park offers . Hikers are also drawn to this area. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Travelers enjoy the when visiting the beautiful park of Denali National Park. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Camping Tours in United States of America, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, The Best Polar Tours & Cruises in United States of America, and The Best Walking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Denali National Park or Grand Canyon National Park?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Grand Canyon National Park is $168, while the average daily cost in Denali National Park is $218. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Grand Canyon National Park $89
    Denali National Park $116
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Grand Canyon National Park $178
    Denali National Park $232
Compare Hotels in Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park

Looking for a hotel in Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Grand Canyon National Park


Hotels in Denali National Park


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Grand Canyon National Park Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Grand Canyon National Park $43
    Denali National Park $76

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denali National Park

Also for Denali National Park, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Shuttle Transfer: Anchorage ↔ Denali National Park: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Grand Canyon National Park or Denali National Park?

Prices for flights to both Denali National Park and Grand Canyon National Park change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Grand Canyon National Park $49
    Denali National Park $57

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Grand Canyon National Park $35
    Denali National Park $30

Tours and Activities in Grand Canyon National Park

For Grand Canyon National Park, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 3 Hour Off-Road Sunset Safari to Grand Canyon with Entrance Gate Detour : $123
  • 3-Day Adventure in Mulu National Park: $298
  • 4 Hour Grand Canyon Biblical Creation Morning Rim Tour: $149
  • 4-Hour Biblical Creation + Sunset Tour • Grand Canyon National Park South Rim: $149
  • Antelope Canyon Day Tour from Grand Canyon South: $279
  • Desert View Grand Canyon Tour - Pink Jeep: $143
  • Full Day Chauffeur for Grand Canyon Tour from inside Grand Canyon: $249
  • Full Day Chauffeur for South Rim Grand Canyon Tour from Tusayan: $249
  • Full-Day Tour to Grand Canyon Coach and River Float: $245
  • Grand Canyon Full Day Small Group Tour: $299
  • Grand Canyon Landmarks Tour by Airplane with Optional Hummer Tour: $179
  • Grand Canyon Signature Hummer Tour with Optional Sunset Views: $121

Tours and Activities in Denali National Park

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Denali National Park.

  • 2.5-Hour Denali Wilderness ATV Adventure Tour: $79
  • 3 Hour Naturalist Walking Tour in Denali National Park: $119
  • 4 Hour Off-Trail Wilderness Wonders Hiking Tour in Denali: $199
  • 5-Hour Mountain Hiking Tour in Denali: $169
  • Alaskan Back Country Side by Side ATV Adventure with Meal: $150
  • Authentical Denali Tour from Denali Park and Fairbanks: $260
  • Classic ATV Adventure with Back Country Dining: $150
  • Denali ATV Trailblazer 3.5 Hour Tour : $114
  • Denali National Park Walking Tour: $125
  • Denali Park Zipline Adventure: $165
  • Denali Self-Guided Jeep Adventure: $244
  • Half-Day Denali River Rafting Experience: $229

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Grand Canyon National Park $11
    Denali National Park $12


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Grand Canyon National Park and Denali National Park, we can see that Denali National Park is more expensive. And not only is Grand Canyon National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Grand Canyon National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Grand Canyon National Park and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Denali National Park would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Denali National Park than you might in Grand Canyon National Park.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Grand Canyon National Park Expensive? and Is Denali National Park Expensive?.