What Types of Wildlife and Plants can you expect at the Grand Canyon?

When I visit the Grand Canyon, what type of wildlife can I expect to see? For those that love nature and wildlife, you will have a truly wonderful experience at the Grand Canyon because of the beautiful scenic views and the incredible flourishing wildlife. Here are a few of the types of wildlife you can expect to encounter during your visit to the Grand Canyon.

Creatures of the Grand Canyon

lizard on a rock in the grand canyon

The Grand Canyon is located in the Arizona desert, so the wildlife is going to be desert-based animals and plants. Although mountain lions and bobcats could be here, they are rarely ever seen. You definitely will see lizards. You may see a Grand Canyon pink rattlesnake, but they are hard to find. If you’re out at night you’re more likely to see scorpions.

When you’re rafting on the Colorado River, you’re most likely to see big chuckwalla lizards hiding in rock holes. While hiking by the river, you’ll see the smaller collared lizards, too.

Other wildlife found near the Grand Canyon includes both turkey vultures and wily ravens. Around dusk and dawn, the beavers come out and cruise the shore. Near the confluence of the Little Colorado River, you’ll find the endangered humpback chub.  In the sky you’re likely to see California condor and peregrine falcons. The California condors are usually found in the Marble Canyon.

The river bank is where the mule deer hang out and even coyotes sometimes. Desert bighorn sheep are commonly seen and mountain goats are a little less common.

You can also expect to see mice, bats, squirrels, raccoon, cotton tail rabbits, bald eagles, golden eagles, ravens, blue jays and red-tailed hawks.

People don’t fear the wildlife in the Grand Canyon because they really keep to themselves and don’t bother campsites unless you leave out food or something else they are attracted to.

Plant life of the Grand Canyon

The Canyon’s vegetation is beautiful. It includes a variety of desert plants and wildflowers. Some of the plants and wildflowers you can find here are:

  • Watercress
  • Rocky Mountain Iris
  • Red Columbine
  • Palmer Lupine
  • White Violet
  • Yarrow
  • Evening Primrose
  • Coyote Willow
  • Seep Willow
  • Arrowweed
  • Sagebrush
  • Catclaw Acacia
  • Western Honey Mesquite

The Grand Canyon offers guided tours via railway, hiking, walking, horseback riding, mule riding, Grand Canyon helicopter trips and river rafting. These types of tours are great for experiencing the wildlife and vegetation of the park.

Photo by Fae