Gray Fox

Gray fox kit looking adorable
Gray fox kit in Zion Canyon

NPS photo

Gray Fox
(Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

The gray fox is one of nature's most versatile creatures, with many unique adaptations that help them thrive in Zion National Park. Thanks to a rotating forearm (similar to that of cats and bears), the gray fox is the only species of canine in North America that is able to climb trees. They climb trees to raid bird nests or to escape predators; some may even use a hollow tree trunk as a den. Gray foxes are opportunistic omnivores—they prefer to eat small mammals, but also dine on lizards, invertebrates, and plants. They have an expanded second molar that provides a greater crushing surface to munch on plant material, such as fruits and nuts, more effectively than other species of fox. These adaptations help the gray fox to never miss out on a meal, or a safe place to spend the day.

In Zion National Park, gray foxes live in areas of thick vegetation or forested riverbanks such as those found along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Gray fox are mostly nocturnal (so not often seen by visitors), but fox scat—often filled with cactus fruit or juniper seeds—is commonly seen on some park trails.
Night photo of gray fox from motion-activated wildlife camera
Adult gray fox photographed in Zion with a motion-activated wildlife camera

NPS photo


Return to Mammals or to the main Wildlife page

Last updated: December 6, 2015

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale, UT 84767


If you have questions, please email Listen to recorded information by calling anytime 24 hours a day. Rangers answer phone calls from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT, but a ranger may not answer if they are already speaking with someone else.

Contact Us