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Biogeographic Regions of Arizona

Colorado Plateau Region

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The southern edge of the vast Colorado Plateau lies in northern Arizona. The plateau, an exceptionally scenic region of colorful rock, remote, isolated canyons, and sweeping vistas, covers portions of four states; Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Prominent landmarks of this region here in Arizona include the beautiful San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Monument Valley and the Painted Desert on the Navajo Reservation, and of course the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Much of this predominantly arid region is vegetated by desert shrubs and grasses or woodlands of pinyon pine and juniper. Ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests cover the higher areas of the plateau generally above 7000 feet, including the San Francisco Peaks, the Kaibab Plateau, and the Chuska Mountains.

These biotic communities and their associated wildlife can be found in the Colorado Plateau Region. Alpine Tundra, Subalpine Spruce-Fir Forest, Montane Mixed-Conifer Forest, Montane Ponderosa Pine Forest, Pinyon Pine-Juniper Woodland, Grasslands, Great Basin Desertscrub, Mojave Desertscrub and Northern Arizona Riparian Woodland.

Colorado Plateau Geology