Grand Canyon National Park has three distinct forest communities. From 4,200 feet up to 6,200 feet there is a woodland consisting of pinyon pine and one seed and Utah junipers. Other species in this woodland include big sagebrush, snakeweed, Mormon tea, cliffrose, apache plume, Utah agave, narrowleaf and banana yucca, snakeweed, winterfat, Indian ricegrass, dropseed, and needlegrass.
Above the woodland between elevations of 6,500 and 8,200 feet on both the North and South rims is a forest characterized by ponderosa pine. Other typical plants in this community are Gambel oak, New Mexico locust, mountain mahogany, elderberry, creeping mahonia, and fescue.
Another forest type is found on the North Rim above 8,200 feet. This is a spruce-fir forest, characterized by Englemann spruce, blue spruce, Douglas fir, white fir, aspen, and mountain ash. Associated plants include several species of perennial grasses, groundsels, yarrow, cinquefoil, lupines, sedges, and asters.
Did You Know?
Within the Grand Canyon, the type and abundance of organisms is directly related to the presence or absence of water. The Colorado River and its tributaries, as well as springs, seeps, stock tanks and ephemeral pools provide oases to flora and fauna in this semi-arid southwest desert area.