• Natural Bridge Trail

    Chiricahua

    National Monument Arizona

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  • Visitor Center Summer Hours in Effect Beginning May 1, 2014

    Summer hours are in effect for the visitor center from May 1 - October 12, 2014 from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. The hikers' shuttle will leave the visitor center at 9 am. For more information call 520-824-3560 0. More »

  • Entrance and Camping Fees Waived this Summer

    From June 1 through September 30, all entrance fees will be waived and federal lands passes will not be available for purchase at the park. More »

  • Mushroom Rock Trail Closed to Horses, Hikers Use Caution

    Mushroom Rock Trail is closed to horses due to hazardous conditions caused by recent flooding. Hikers use caution. Trail is washed out in place and may be difficult to follow.

Amphibians

The canyon treefrog is one of only a few amphibians that live in the Monument.  It is a small frog - only about 2 inches long - but has a loud voice that can be heard during the summer rainy season.

Canyon treefrog

L. Brock

Permanent water sources are rare in the desert southwest, and Chiricahua National Monument is no exception. Several small springs are present on site, but water disappears quickly after surfacing, leaving only small pools or boggy meadows to indicate its presence. Winter rain and snow, and summer monsoon storms provide intermittant flows in the normally dry streams. Still, several amphibians find a way to persist in this arid climate. Rock pools hold water long enough for the canyon tree-frog to lay its eggs, and for tadpoles to metamorphose into “ground dwellers” before the water dries up. Several species of toads and the tiger salamander are also able to utilize the limited water resources effectively enough to produce young.

These animals are seldom seen during the heat of the day, but are active during the cooler nights, especially after a summer rainstorm. The most common amphibians at Chiricahua are the tiger salamander, southern spadefoot toad, great plains toad, and the canyon treefrog. Listen for the explosive, whirring voice of the canyon treefrog near rocky pools along Rhyolite Creek. This tiny frog – usually less that 2 inches long – has a big voice, and is more often heard than seen. Toads and salamanders can frequently be found on or near the roads, or near buildings where nighttime lights may attract their insect prey.

All amphibians need water to lay their eggs in, and often live in or near a permanent water source. Desert dwelling amphibians, like those at Chiricahua, have adapted to a life with limited water; salamanders live in moist, shady areas under fallen wood or debris, while spadefoot toads burrow into the soil and estivate (similar to hibernate) to avoid dry periods. Amphibians are important “indicator” species, often reacting to pollutants that have entered into the air or water. In many areas the amphibians have disappeared (or have acquired various physical deformities) due to contaminants, such as herbicides, pesticides and pollution. We continue to monitor amphibian health, even in places where the animals and habitat are protected, because pollutants can travel great distances through the air, soil and water.

Did You Know?

Geronimo and Naiche

Southeast Arizona was home to the Chiricahua Apache, under the leadership of Cochise. They surrendered for the final time in 1886 and were sent first to Florida and later to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Many found homes in the hills of today's Chirichaua National Monument.