• Lower Cliff Dwelling


    National Monument Arizona


Canyon treefrog

Canyon Treefrog

NPS Photo

Of all the creatures that call the Sonoran Desert home, probably none are more unexpected than amphibians. They have several adaptations that would seem to make desert life impossible – they lay their eggs in water, the young must live in water, and their skin is especially susceptible to drying out in an arid environment.

Because of this, amphibians spend most of the year underground, in burrows that they or other animals have dug. They are most likely to be seen after summer rains around temporary or permanent sources of water as they race to feed and reproduce.

Tonto National Monument is home to six amphibian species - Colorado River Toad, Great Plains Toad, Red-spotted Toad, Woodhouse's Toad, Couch's Spadefoot, and Canyon Treefrog. For more information about these fascinating creatures, click on the links.

Did You Know?

crested saguaro

Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Botanists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.