• View of Square Tower House, seen along the Mesa Top Loop

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Reptiles, Amphibians, and Fish


Yellow-headed collared lizard
Speckled earless lizard
Great Basin sagebrush lizard
Northern plateau lizard
Northern tree lizard
Northern side-blotched lizard
Mountain short-horned lizard
Plateau whiptail lizard
Two-lined skink
Wandering garter snake
Desert striped whipsnake
Western smooth green snake
Great Basin gopher snake
New Mexico milk snake
Mesa Verde night snake
Prairie (Western) rattlesnake (possibly other subspecies as well)



Utah tiger salamander (nearly extirpated)
Rocky Mountain (Woodhouse’s) toad
Red-spotted toad
Hammond’s spadefoot toad (possibly in Mancos Canyon)
Northern leopard frog (extirpated from park)
Boreal chorus frog



Colorado pikeminnow (Endangered, extirpated, not reintroduced)
Razorback sucker (Endangered, extirpated, not reintroduced)
Flannelmouth sucker (nearly extirpated, supplemental reintroduction)
Bluehead sucker (nearly extirpated, supplemental reintroduction)
Roundtail chub (extirpated and reintroduced)
Speckled dace Mottled sculpin (not confirmed, single brief visual record in river bed)
Green sunfish (exotic, invasive)
Fathead minnow (exotic, invasive)
Rainbow trout (exotic, not persistent)

Did You Know?

Photograph of Cliff Palace, 1895 - 1900 by WH Jackson

On a snowy December day in 1888, while ranchers Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason searched Mesa Verde’s canyons for stray cattle, they unexpectedly came upon Cliff Palace for the first time. The following year, the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored an additional 182 cliff dwellings.