The southern grasshopper mouse inhabits temperate shrubland and desert habitats and prefers xeric areas at low elevations with low-moderate shrub cover.
The southern grasshopper mouse inhabits temperate shrubland and desert habitats. It is found in shortgrass prairies; desert scrub; rocky soils; creosote, hot, arid valleys; and semi-desert areas.
Alkali desert scrub and desert scrub habitats are preferred, with somewhat lower densities expected in other desert habitats, including succulent shrub, wash, and riparian areas. Southern grasshopper mice also occur in coastal scrub, mixed chaparral, sagebrush, low sage, and bitterbrush habitats. They frequent desert areas, especially scrub habitats with friable soils for digging.
Southern grasshopper mice are uncommon in valley foothill and montane riparian, and in a variety of other habitats.
The most preferred xeric areas are at low elevations. Low to moderate shrub cover is preferred.