Get Familiar with Wildlife at Zion National Park

Zion National Park, located in southwestern Utah, is known for its stunning red rock cliffs, narrow slot canyons, and unique desert landscapes. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. 

Explore some of the imagery and education of the park by visiting the Global Alliance of National Parks. The GANP is dedicated to protecting the world’s national parks through education and public awareness about the natural resources these national parks protect. 

Zion delivers striking landscapes and spectacular panoramic views of some of the most incredible displays of nature.  However, it is also home to a variety of wildlife species that call this majestic habitat home.

Some of the wildlife species protected by Zion National Park include:

  • Bighorn Sheep

Zion National Park is one of the best places in the United States to spot bighorn sheep. These majestic animals are well adapted to the rocky cliffs and canyons of Zion, and can often be seen scaling steep walls or grazing on vegetation in the park.

  • Mountain Lions

While elusive and rarely seen, mountain lions, also known as cougars or pumas, inhabit the rugged backcountry of Zion National Park. These solitary and elusive predators are at the top of the food chain in the park and play a critical role in maintaining the ecosystem’s balance.

  • Mule Deer

Mule deer are common in Zion National Park and can be spotted in various habitats, including along the park’s trails and in meadows. These graceful animals are known for their large ears and distinctive jumping gait.

  • Golden Eagles

Zion National Park is home to a variety of bird species, including the majestic golden eagle. These large birds of prey can be seen soaring high above the park’s cliffs and canyons, hunting for small mammals and birds.

  • California Condors

Zion National Park is one of the few places where you may spot the critically endangered California condor. These massive birds, with their distinctive black feathers and bare heads, are part of a conservation program aimed at recovering their dwindling population.

  • Collared Lizards

Zion National Park is home to a variety of reptiles, including the colorful collared lizards. These fast-moving lizards are known for their striking appearance, with bright colors and unique pattern on their bodies.

  • Zion Canyon Tree Frog

This small amphibian is found in the riparian areas of Zion National Park, and its distinctive call can often be heard in the evenings. The Zion Canyon tree frog has a unique adaptation that allows it to cling to the park’s vertical rock walls.

  • Ringtail Cats

Also known as ringtail or miner’s cats, these small mammals are known for their distinctive bushy tails with alternating black and white rings. Ringtail cats are primarily active at night and are often found in rocky areas and canyons of Zion National Park.

  • Desert Tortoises

The slow-moving desert tortoise is a protected species in Zion National Park, and sightings are relatively rare. These ancient reptiles can be found in the park’s desert areas, where they forage on vegetation and dig burrows for shelter.

  • Various Small Mammals

Other small mammals that can be found in Zion National Park include chipmunks, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, and bats, among others. 

These small creatures play important roles in the park’s ecosystem as prey for larger predators and in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority when observing wildlife. Keep a safe distance, respect their habitat, and follow park regulations to ensure a positive experience for both you and the wildlife in Zion National Park. Enjoy your wildlife watching adventures!