Wildlife Guide

Grand Canyon and the surrounding regions are home to desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lions, coyotes, gray fox, and a large variety of reptiles, birds and rodents.

In this section, we provide a brief overview of wildlife visitors might glimpse on their Grand Canyon vacation.

Desert Bighorn Sheep

These are stocky sheep that are similar in size to the mule deer. They are nimble-footed and inhabit terrain that is rocky and steep. The color of the animal’s coat makes it difficult to spot while hiking in or floating through the Grand Canyon, but they are here. See More

Mule Deer

Mule deer are common throughout Grand Canyon National Park and throughout the western half of North America for that matter. Mule deer get their name from their mule-like ears. Visitors will see mule deer along the hiking trails and the rim, and throughout much of their travels during a Grand Canyon vacation. See More


Rodents, including beaver, antelope squirrels and pocket mice, can be seen exploring and inhabiting the Grand Canyon area as well as much of the country surrounding the national park. See More

Birds and Raptors

Falcons, owls and hawks are frequent fliers in the Grand Canyon National Park region and Arizona. Known for their incredible speed and agility, falcons feed on smaller birds, and stoop (dive) to capture prey in mid-air. Peregrine, prairie and American kestrels are common in Arizona. Owls that call Arizona home include large great horned owls, barn owls, tiny elf, pygmy and squirrel owls, and burrowing owls. Visitors might also glimpse a variety of hawks, as well as plenty of songbirds, during their vacation. See More


There are approximately 47 reptile species that call the Grand Canyon home, including a variety of species of lizards. Iguanas inhabit this region, as do Gila monsters, chuckwallas, geckos and many others. The mountain short-horned lizard is another that makes its home here. The Desert tortoise is native to the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the southwestern U. S. And if that isn’t enough, six rattlesnake species have been recorded in the park. Two are species rarely encountered, the Southwestern speckled rattlesnake and the Northern black-tailed rattlesnake.  See More


Coyotes and gray fox make their homes in this region. Found throughout Arizona, the coyote is the state’s most familiar animal. Even where coyotes aren’t seen, visitors may hear their choruses of howls, yelps, and barks, especially during the night. The animal’s pointed ears, narrow nose, generally brown coat color, and black-tipped tail, which is usually held downward, help differentiate coyotes from dogs and wolves. Gray fox range throughout much of the southern half of North America. The animal is distinguished from most other canids by its grizzled upper parts, strong neck and black-tipped tail. See More

Mountain Lions

Mountain lions are also often referred to as cougars, puma, or panthers. Whatever you call it, it is the largest cat native to North America. Mountain lions can be found throughout all regions of Arizona, but are most common in rocky or mountainous areas. Because mountain lions are shy and elusive, people don’t often see them. See More


The Grand Canyon might be home to over 350 bird species, but when the sun goes down and the moon slips above the horizon, it’s time to huddle around the campfire and keep an eye out for bats. Along the canyon’s rim, the Western Pipistrelle can be seen darting through the darkness in search of beetles, moths and flies. See More

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