Bryce Canyon National Park Feature
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Flora and Fauna
Due to elevations approaching 9,000 feet, many of Bryce Canyon's 400 plant species are unlike those you'll see at less lofty places. Look at exposed slopes and you might catch a glimpse of the pygmy pinyon, or the gnarled, thousand-year-old bristlecone pine. At lower altitudes are the Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, and the quaking aspen, sitting in groves of twinkling leaves. No fewer than three kinds of sagebrush—big, black, and fringed—grow here, as well as the blue columbine.
Mule deer are common, and chipmunks will scamper along the trails with you. The Utah prairie dog is also a resident. Give them a wide berth; they may be cute, but they bite and their fleas can carry disease. Other animals include elk, black-tailed jackrabbits, and the desert cottontail. Below 7,000 feet, black bear have been seen in the trees, but infrequently. It's far more likely you'll see the soaring forms of golden and bald eagles, or perhaps a peregrine falcon diving into the amphitheaters at speeds approaching 200 mph.
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