Vegetation on the monument and surrounding lands consists primarily of the pinyon-juniper woodland, grassland, and upland shrub communities typical of the Colorado Plateau. Pinyon-juniper woodland densely covers the higher elevations above the cliffs, and sparsely covers canyon sides. Thick stands of Gambel oak are found in the upper reaches of some drainages. Woodland trees are usually less than 20–30 feet (6–9 m) tall.
Open areas dominated by big sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and greasewood are scattered in canyon bottoms. Other common shrubs include single-leaf ash, broom snakeweed, Utah serviceberry, yucca, Mormon tea, mountain mahogany, and cliffrose. Riparian plants common in canyon bottoms and other areas include coyote willow, horsetail, Rocky Mountain willow, western river birch, and several orchids.
Exotic invasive species are primarily found along park roads.
For more information on vegetation at Colorado National Monument, visit the Northern Colorado Plateau Network website.
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Last updated: February 6, 2024