Grand Canyon National Park scrublands are more precisely called desert scrub communities.
A Mohavean desert scrub community extends from the Grand Wash Cliffs in extreme western Grand Canyon to near the Colorado River’s confluence with the Little Colorado River. It is typified by warm desert species such as creosote bush and white bursage. Frost-sensitive species more characteristic of the Sonoran Desert such as brittle brush, catclaw acacia, and ocotillo can also be found along this stretch of the river. Species such as mariola, western honey mesquite, and four-wing saltbush, considered typical of Chihuahuan Desert species, also grow here.
Upstream of the Little Colorado River, in Marble Canyon and on the Tonto Platform, species more characteristic of the Great Basin Desert predominate, such as big sagebrush, blackbrush, and rubber rabbitbrush.
Did You Know?
In November of 1934, the Grand Canyon Civilian Conservation Corps began working on a trans-canyon telephone line. Starting at Indian Garden, they progressed downward to the Colorado River. It was necessary to complete this portion of the line first before the onset of extreme summer heat. More...