Exploring the Forest on the North Rim

October 30, 2022  |  Grand Canyon National Park

When we think of Arizona, our mind wanders to visions of flat deserts populated by the Saguaro cactus and the occasional roadrunner. What may not come to mind is rolling terrain and dense forests with numerous types of trees, but the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is just such a place.

Within Grand Canyon National Park, there are three distinct forest communities. Beginning at about 4,200 feet above sea level, and going up to 6,200 feet you can find a forest of pinyon pine and Utah junipers. Amongst the trees it’s common to find sagebrush, Mormon tea, cliffrose, apache plume, and Utah agave. Between 6,500 and 8,200 feet on both the North and South rims is a forest characterized mostly of ponderosa pine with Gambel oak, and New Mexico locust scattered about. On the North Rim above 8,200 feet is a spruce-fir forest, characterized by Englemann spruce, blue spruce, Douglas fir, white fir, quaking aspen, and mountain ash.

The leaves in a stand of Quaking aspen trees rustle in the wind. From the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Rustling Leaves
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is known for its thick mixed forest which consists of Ponderosa pines, Douglas firs, and Quaking...
Forest on the North Rim
A pinyon pine on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Along with the Utah Juniper, the pinyon pine makes up the pinyon...
Pinyon Pine
A Utah agave forms a beautiful rosette of blue succulent evergreen leaves that fade to olive green at the tips, with small teeth...
Twisted Agave
Quaking aspen trees along the edge of a meadow on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Aspens Along a Meadow
I was exploring a meadow with tall grasses along the edge of the forest on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon when I noticed several...
Ladybugs in Grasses
A pine cone has fallen from a nearby tree and sits on a crackon a lichen-covered rock. If yo ulook closely, you can see more...
Pine Cone and Lichen
A two-track dirt road passes through a mixed forest of Quaking Aspen trees and Ponderosa pines in a remote are of the North Rim...
Lost in the Woods

I hope you enjoyed this collection of photographs from the forests at the Grand Canyon. The next time you visit the park, be sure to take some time to wander through the trees.