Plant and Animal Life In the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon has a huge variety of plant and animal life living within and without the canyon itself. Most of this life centers around the waterways running through the national park, making rafting trips a perfect way to see nature in the Grand Canyon.
The Colorado River crosses many miles of land, crossing six different ecosystems as it goes. The sheer length as well as the changes in altitude mean that the Grand Canyon can sustain nearly 1700 different types of plant life in total. The canyon contains 3 types of desert alone! If you’re a nature enthusiast and you plan to visit the Grand Canyon, you may be missing out if you only take a trip down one side of the canyon. The plant life varies from slope to slope, depending on how much sunlight each side gets. By rafting, you are guaranteed to see both sides of the canyon and everything in between.
While there are only 33 types of birds that live permanently in steep, rocky slopes of the canyon, there are some extraordinary examples of avian kind. One of the most interesting is the endangered California Condor that has been at risk of extinction for many years who still lives in the Eastern section of the Grand Canyon National Park. The famous Vermillion Cliffs that are named for their bright shade, are a favorite “hang out” for large birds who gracefully ride the winds up and down the steep slopes. During the winter, bald eagles can be seen nesting in the lower altitudes of the canyon.
The natural beauty of the canyon itself is often why tourists flock to snap pictures and take tours, but the living, permanent inhabitants of the canyon are just as spectacular. For those who are patient and curious enough, bird watching or classifying plants along your journey can be a rewarding part of your trip.
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