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Scenic views and native vegetation images from parks within Southern Colorado Plateau Network.

Air Quality at Grand Canyon National Park

What’s in the Air?

Map of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Map depicts closeness of Grand Canyon NP to the Four Corners region.
Grand Canyon NP, Arizona

Most visitors who come to national parks expect clean air and clear views. However, Grand Canyon National Park (NP), Arizona, world-renowned for its breathtakingly iconic views, lies downwind of polluted air from coal-fired power plants in the Four Corners region, nearby mining, and urban and industrial pollutants from Mexico and California. Air pollutants carried into the park can harm natural and scenic resources such as forests, soils, streams, fish, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Grand Canyon National Park?

  • Fine particles of air pollution cause haze in the park, affecting how well and how far visitors can see vistas and landmarks. more »
  • Nitrogen and sulfur in air pollution are carried into the park through rain, snow, and “dry deposition.” more »
  • Ground-level ozone sometimes reaches levels known to harm plants. more »
  • Toxic contaminants including mercury likely accumulate in the park’s Colorado River. more »

What is the National Park Service doing about air pollution at the park?

  • Monitoring nitrogen, sulfur, ozone, fine particles, and haze to assess status and trends. more »
  • Evaluating the impacts of air pollution on park ecosystems. more »
  • Working with federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and public interest groups to develop strategies to reduce air pollution and protect and restore park resources. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Using an environmentally-friendly alternative fuel vehicle fleet and a shuttle bus system for park visitors, reducing the number of vehicles on some of the busiest roads in the park, and participating in Climate Friendly Parks program to reduce air pollutant emissions in the park.

Featured Content

Impacts icon

Pollutants including fine particles, nitrogen, sulfur, ozone, and mercury affect resources such as streams, soils, and scenic vistas. Find out how on our Grand Canyon NP Air Pollution Impacts web page.

Studies and Monitoring icon

Studies and monitoring help the NPS understand the environmental impacts of air pollution. Access air quality data and see what is happening with Studies and Monitoring at Grand Canyon NP.

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Last Updated: February 03, 2016