Where to See a Condor in the Grand Canyon
California Condors can be seen soaring in the skies near Grand Canyon's South Rim as well as around the Vermilion Cliffs area. See our top 6 spots for condor watching here.
Top 5 Viewing Places
1. Yavapai Point, South Rim
2. Yaki Point, South Rim
3. Lookout Studio, South Rim
4. Vermilion Cliffs
5. Navajo Bridge, Marble Canyon
6. Plateau Point in the canyon, South Rim
California condors almost became extinct in the 20th century and the rare bird was placed on the federal Endangered Species list in 1967. Following a captive breeding program begun in 1983, six young condors were released into the wild just north of Grand Canyon at Vermilion Cliffs in 1996.
The re-introduction program is now considered a success, with 71 condors recently counted in the Grand Canyon region and a total of 195 birds in the wild in the United States.
The condors feed on carrion and can be seen soaring in the skies near Grand Canyon’s South Rim as well as around the Vermilion Cliffs area north of the park. The similar looking but much more common turkey vulture is often mistaken for a condor. However, the condors can often be distinguished by their prominent identification tags which are placed on the birds by wildlife officials tracking the species recovery. And the condor’s average wingspan, at 9 feet across, is about 3-feet greater than that of the vulture’s.
For more information, including a map with Arizona condor viewing sites: Peregrine Fund, peregrinefund.org
You can scout out these locations on free park map that you ‘ll receive when you enter the park. But if you’d like a more detailed map with hiking trails and more, you can purchase one at REI.com.