About the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
- Established: Jan 11, 2000
- By: Presidential proclamation
- Size: 1,048,325 acres (larger than the state of Rhode Island)
- “Parashant,” from the Pauite word Pawteh ‘ee oasoasant, meaning “tanned elk hide,” or “softening of the elk hide.”
The Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS). Located at the Northwest edge of the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon-Parashant offers over a million acres of desert, canyon, and mountain access. From the Mojave Desert flatlands to the Mt. Trumbull peaks, the monument spans 4 wilderness areas and includes nearly 7,000’ in elevation gain. The monument is home to countless biological, historical and archaeological treasures. Landmarks like Mt. Logan, Mt. Trumbull and the Grand Wash Cliffs testify to the power of geological forces. For those willing to make the long, remote drive, this monument offers spectacular vistas and scenery.
Vegetation ranges from Mohave Desert flora to ponderosa pine forest. A variety of wildlife lives in the monument, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, wild turkey, and four species of rattlesnakes. Though unseen by the average visitor, a 2005 expedition to examine 24 caves in the park produced two new species of millipede, the first barklouse discovered in North America, a whole new genus of cricket and four new cricket species. The monument also encompasses the lower portion of the Shivwits Plateau, an important watershed for the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.
At Toroweap Overlook, volcanic cinder cones and lava flows combine with sheer, dramatic drops to create a unique–and remote–experience. In other parts of the Monument, fault lines and fossilized rock layers testify to the . Grand Canyon-Parashant’s rocky spine, the Grand Wash Cliffs, contribute critical habitat to 23 species of rare, sensitive, or endangered wildlife and plant species. California condors, Townsend’s big-eared bats, Mexican spotted owls, and goshawks nest in cliff alcoves while desert tortoises, cougars, coyotes, and 4 rattlesnake species rely on the springs and river systems of the canyons below.
Cultural and Historic Resources
Serving as an ancient human migration corridor from the Grand Canyon to the northern mountains, Grand Canyon-Parashant’s Nampaweap canyon is scattered with ancient burial sites, quarries, and thousands of petroglyphs. Tassi Ranch, Mt. Trumbull Sawmill Site, and Grand Gulch Mine remain as evidence of endeavors by early homesteaders in the late 1800s.
To stargazers’ delight, Grand Canyon-Parashant’s remote location means pristine night skies. In fact, it recently earned International Dark Sky Park Gold-tier status, the highest level of award representing the darkest skies.The IDA Dark Sky designation is a first for a BLM area and the fifth NPS site to be designated, joining Natural Bridges National Monument, Big Bend National Park, Death Valley National Park and Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Though the Monument is one of the most remote public lands in the lower 48 states, hiking and camping abound, and horseback riders, off-highway vehicle enthusiasts and geological sightseers find the Monument to be a land of plenty. Hunters can pursue mule deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and wild turkey in accordance with state regulations.