Best time to travel to Grand Canyon

Wildlife Watching in Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon's wildlife encounters are impressive all year round, but the spring baby boom makes the season particularly attractive

Best time: all year round (best: March–May)

Wildlife Watching

Grand Canyon is a great habitat for a variety of wildlife. The National Park covers a vast area of 1.2-million-acres and is home to unique species. Six of the most iconic ones include the nearly extinct California Condor, Rocky Mountain Elk, Ringtail, Bighorn Sheep, Abert’s Squirrel, and Little Brown Bat. Other common residents are beavers, foxes, bobcats, jackrabbits, mule deer, coyotes, raccoons, bears, badgers, mountain lions, and dozens of others.

The Colorado River corridor seems to be the most prolific locations within the park. However, desert uplands and coniferous forests are also rich in wildlife. Each habitat offers different viewing opportunities.

Whenever you decide to go wildlife watching, keep in mind a few safety rules. First, it's essential to stay at the right distance. It's at least 100 feet (30 meters) in case of bigger animals (i.e., deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and mountain lion), and half of that length for smaller species (birds, squirrels, and reptiles). Even if an animal approaches you, it's your responsibility to step back. Feeding is prohibited, and so is whistling, clicking, or other noises produced to attract an animal's attention. Remember: when an animal feels threatened it's prone to aggression, and even seemingly harmless squirrels may cause you a lot of trouble.

Although wildlife viewing is good all year round, spring stands out as the best season for an opportunity to spot baby animals.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Grand Canyon for a chance to see baby animals?

Spring from March to May is the ideal time to visit Grand Canyon if you want to watch the adorable newborn animals take their first steps. While the warmer months from June to September are excellent for seeing mammals, any time of year offers visitors a chance to witness wildlife in the park. Each season has its unique sightings. As such, choosing the right time to visit is essential for wildlife enthusiasts. Show more

Where in the Grand Canyon is the best location to view wildlife?

The Colorado River corridor is the most abundant area to catch a glimpse of diverse species, including endangered ones like the Bighorn Sheeps, California Condors, and Critters. Nevertheless, you can spot wildlife throughout the park, such as the uplands desert and wooded forests, providing ample opportunities for a unique wildlife observation. However, visitors must research the best observation location before embarking on a visit. Show more

What are some of the endangered species in the area?

A variety of unique animal species found in the Grand Canyon require protection. Some of the endangered species found here include the California Condor, Humpback Chub, Kanab Ambersnail, Razorback Sucker, and Mexican Spotted Owl. Additionally, some vulnerable species like Bighorn Sheep, Desert Tortoise, and Rocky Mountain Elk are present. Visitors can get more information on endangered species from the park's ranger stations and visitor centers. Show more

How far away should I stay from wildlife while viewing them?

Maintaining a secure distance while observing wildlife is crucial to protect both people and the animals' natural habitat. Keeping a distance of no less than 300 feet is ideal for larger animals like bears and wolves. For smaller ones such as coyotes, bobcats, foxes, and raccoons, the minimum distance ought to be at least 25 yards away. Visitors should aim to stay about 15 feet away when observing small mammals and birds. Show more

Can I bring food to feed the animals while viewing?

Visitors are strictly prohibited from feeding the animals at the park because it can lead to health problems and change their natural social behavior. All food and drinks must remain out of reach of the wildlife, and visitors should dispose of garbage appropriately. Feeding wildlife is not only illegal but can also encourage aggression towards humans and cause hardships to the animals' health. Habituation to human food can lead to animals becoming aggressive if they do not obtain it. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Wildlife Watching (Map)

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin