Nature & Science
From the mineral-rich Black Hills to the south, to the red and white sandstone country of Sedona and the basalt-capped palisades of the Mogollon Rim to the north, to the limestone hills of the Verde Valley, the dynamic nature of the Earth's geologic processes is evident in the landforms surrounding the monument.
The monument contains numerous species of plants, such as mesquite, catclaw, and saltbush, which have adapted to life in an arid environment, but, due to the micro-habitats provided by the riparian corridors, also hosts populations of moisture-loving plants. The tall, large-leaved mesic species of trees, such as sycamore and cottonwood, found only in the riparian corridors, stand in stark contrast to the xeric species found on the neighboring lands. Nearby Tavasci Marsh, with it's slow-moving water, provides yet another habitat for the great diversity of plant and animal life found within and adjacent to the monument.