Creek-side environments, called riparian zones, are particularly rich areas due to the availability of water. Lush shrubbery and overhanging deciduous cottonwood and alder trees provide food, precious shade, and habitat for insects, amphibians, and small mammals. these in turn attract predators - rattlesnakes, birds, coyotes, and bobcats.
The Ancestral Pueblo people knew the value of these places as sources of both food and water. These areas may be seen as ribbons of bright green along the canyon bottoms.