A unique thorny scrub forest with xerophyte species, Chinnar is the habitat for the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India. Their total number here would be less than 200. Located in the rain shadow area of the Western Ghats, unlike other sanctuaries in Kerala, Chinnar gets only less than two months of rain every year. Rich in wildlife, the mixed deciduous forests here are ideal for trekking.
An extensive Sandalwood forest nearby is an added attraction at Chinnar. This is also an ideal place for watching herds of gaur and elephants amble past. Dry deciduous forests, high sholas and some grasslands add to the diversity of the sanctuary. As one travels from Karimuthi to Chinnar, elephants, spotted deer, sambar, hanuman langur and even peacocks can be spotted on either side of the road.