In this part of the world (Grand Canyon, Zion & Brice National Parks and surroundings) it's not unusual to see trees like this growing out of rocks. Somewhere there has to be some soil or duff, but often you can't see it. The magnificent old tree is a pine (see below) and the dramatic backdrop is the Grand Canyon. The photo was borrowed from Bonsai Mania
The photos shown here are from a post we did back December 2010, a while after my last trip to the Grand Canyon. It was the South Rim then. Now it’s the North Rim as well as Zion and Bryce National Parks. We’ve got some hopefully decent cell phone photos, but probably won’t have time to sort through them all until we get home. Meanwhile, here are some from a post we did back in December, 2010. The text is being written now. Quickly, so we can get back outside!
This blurry blowup confirms my notion the the tree is a pine, perhaps even a Bristlecone. To be sure, I got my trusty National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America out, and sure enough, the Intermountain Bristlecone (Pinus longaeva) has a spot on the map that falls right on the Grand Canyon (this was written in 2010. What follows is from today). The pines we see most around here are Ponderosa and Pinyon. I haven't noticed any Bristlecone this trip (Note: a day later and just back from Bryce where we did see some Bristlecone pines)
This one looks like a Juniper with the foliage in full winter color. Both Rocky Mountain junipers (J. scopularum) and Utah junipers (J. osteosperma) are found around the Grand Canyon and your guess is as good as mine. The shot was borrowed from Flickr