Kaibab National Forest

Kaibab National Forest is located in Arizona and borders the Grand Canyon in the north and south. It was established in 1909 and is separated into two areas known as the North Kaibab Ranger District and the South Kaibab Ranger District. The Grand Canyon forms a natural boundary between the two districts, which make up about 1.6 million acres of land. The elevations in the forest vary between 5,500 feet and 10,418 feet. This national forest holds four designated wilderness areas including Kanab Creek Wilderness and Sycamore Canyon Wilderness.

The North Kaibab district was once part of the lands that were taken from the public domain in 1893. In 1906, President Roosevelt established the Grand Canyon Game Preserve, which currently holds 612,736 acres of Kaibab National Forest. The entire preserve is designated as a breeding area for wildlife. In 1919, this area and the forest reserve that was located north of the Grand Canyon were established as Kaibab National Forest. Other areas were added to the national forest in later years.

The North Kaibab district holds a highland climate, so it is cold and snowy at higher elevations, with a warmer summer similar to those in Mediterranean climates. The climate of the South Kaibab district varies depending upon the elevation, giving this area of the national forest a variety of wildlife. Dominant tree types include aspen, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, oak, and pinyon pine. Sagebrush, bitter brush, Gambel oak, and cliffrose plants dominate areas at lower elevations. Animals residing in the forest include white tail deer, elk, chipmunks, ground squirrels, robins, woodpeckers, crows, hawks, bats, and occasionally coyotes, mountain lions, and black bears. Kaibab National Forest offers many attractions to visitors including fishing, cabins, and wildlife viewing.

Image Caption: Aspen trees in fall color on the North Kaibab Ranger District. Credit: Kaibab National Forest/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)