Upper Basin/Coconino Rim





Ranunculus oreogenes.jpg





Fritillaria atropurpurea


Hordeum jubatum


Ranunculus oreogenes



Coordinating Botanist:  Kirstin Olmon


Status:  In Progress


Started:  2010


Taxa List





The Upper Basin is 175 km2 of pinyon-juniper woodland that rests in a geological depression in the northeast corner of the Tusayan ranger district of the Kaibab National Forest just to the south of Grand Canyon National Park. Rising 1,000 feet above the Upper Basin is the Coconino Rim, a part of the East Kaibab Monocline. This escarpment that runs eastward from the south rim of Grand Canyon near Desert View and curves to the southeast in Navajo Nation to Gray Mountain. At the top of the Rim is Ponderosa forest interspersed with open meadows and oak woodland. From outcroppings at the top of the Rim, you can see into the Grand Canyon, the Little Colorado River Gorge and the Painted Desert.


This flora was a graduate student project and no additional trips are planned. The flora vouchered 399 taxa from 217 genera and 59 families. The inventory documented 198 taxa previously uncollected in the area, representing a 98% increase in the known flora. Nineteen taxa of sensitive status were identified including Chrysothamnus molestus, Cordylanthus wrightii ssp. kaibabensis, and Phlox amabilis. Six Arizona noxious weeds were located: Centaurea diffusa Euphorbia esula, Onopordum acanthium, Portulaca oleracea, Convolvulus arvensis, and Tribulus terrestris. Non-native taxa made up approximately 10% of the flora of the Upper Basin.


The Upper Basin is under Kaibab National Forest management and is located just to the south of Desert View, the east entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. The Upper Basin can be accessed via Highway 64 from Cameron or along the Coconino Rim Road. Forest Road 307 is a well-maintained dirt road that traverses through the Upper Basin and is passable in most vehicles; however 4WD or high clearance vehicles are recommended for most of the other roads including the Coconino Rim Road. Elevations range from 6,200 feet below the Coconino Rim to 7,500 feet above the rim.