Natural Features and Ecosystems

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monuement is located at the junction of two physiographic provinces, the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range. Sedimentary rock layers are relatively undeformed and unobscured by vegetation. Deep canyons, mountains, and lonely buttes testify to the power of geologic forces. Geologic faults range from over six million years to much newer faults of only 30,000 years. Parashant's landscape has been volcanically active for over five million years. Several of Parashant's lava flows have dammed the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The most recent eruption in Parashant was a mere 1,075 years ago.

The monument contains outstanding biological resources preserved by its remote location and limited travel corridors. It is the junction of two physiographic ecoregions: the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau. Individually, these regions contain ecosystems extreme to each other, ranging from stark, arid desert to complex, dramatic higher elevation plateaus, tributaries, and rims of the Grand Canyon. The western margin of the Shivwits Plateau marks the boundary between the Sonoran/Mojave/Great Basin floristic provinces to the west and south, and Colorado Plateau province to the northeast. The intersection of these biomes is a distinctive and remarkable feature.


Last updated: November 1, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Public Lands Information Center
345 East Riverside Drive

Saint George, UT 84790


(435) 688-3200
This federal interagency office is staffed by employees from the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S National Forest Service, and by dedicated volunteers from the local community. Phones are answered Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The information center is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and all federal holidays.

Contact Us