Be Prepared for Snakes and Scorpions in the Grand Canyon

We don't want to scare you, but the Grand Canyon, as part of the desert southwest,  is home to snakes and scorpions. Knowing what to do if you get bitten can help save your life.
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Rattlesnake Bites


Rattlesnake in the desert of Arizona.

What do you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake? According to the Mayo Clinic, here are the steps to take while waiting for medical help:

  • Remain calm and move beyond the snake's striking distance.
  • Remove jewelry and tight clothing before you start to swell.
  • Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
  • Clean the wound, but don't flush it with water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing.

Caution from the Mayo Clinic

  • Don't use a tourniquet or apply ice.
  • Don't cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom.

Scorpion Stings

Arizona Scorpion

Arizona Scorpion

Scorpions don't bite, but they can sting and when they do it can hurt.  Some scorpions can be deadly. In the United States, the bark scorpion, found mainly in the desert Southwest, is the only scorpion species with venom potent enough to cause severe symptoms. Young children and older adults are particularly at risk for more serious complications. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, get immediate medical care for a child stung by a scorpion. Call your local poison control center for advice if you're concerned about a scorpion sting. To reach a poison control center in the United States, call Poison Help at 800-222-1222. Seek prompt medical care if you've been stung by a scorpion and begin to experience widespread symptoms.


Pipistrellus Bat

Western Pipistrelle Bats in the Grand Canyon

The canyon's bats can be seen darting through the darkness in search of beetles, moths and flies. Two tested positive for rabies. Should you worry?


Coyotes in Grand Canyon National Park

Though tough to spot against the multicolored backdrop of Arizona's dry desert, coyotes are an important part of Grand Canyon's natural ecosystem.

Mountain Lions

Mountain Lions in the Grand Canyon

Mountain lions are common within Grand Canyon National Park, but visitors rarely see them since they tend to blend in and do not actively approach people.

Bighorn Sheep in the Grand Canyon

Bighorn Sheep in the Grand Canyon

Desert bighorn sheep are nimble-footed and inhabit terrain that is rocky and steep. You may see them along the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Black Bear by Jean-Edouard Rozey

Are There Bears in the Grand Canyon Area?

Black bear sighting are rare but there is talk of introducing grizzlies to the Grand Canyon to promote plant diversity and control grazing animals.

California Condors in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Condor Facts

Approximately 70 condors inhabit the skies of northern Arizona and Utah. Read a brief primer about the grand birds.

Grand Canyon Visitor Center. Photo by Whit Richardson

Grand Canyon Visitor Centers

There are several visitor centers throughout the Grand Canyon where you can find helpful information about the park.

View from Yavapai Point in the Grand Canyon

Look at the Grand Canyon to Live Longer

Even if you don't hike the trails or bike Hermit's Road, the act of looking at the Grand Canyon can lengthen your life.

Elk at the South Kaibab water filling station.

Grand Canyon Elk Outsmart Water Faucets

Elk have learned to turn on the water at Grand Canyon filling stations. They simply lift the spring-loaded lever and help themselves to a drink.