• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

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  • Visitor Center is closed

    The Visitor Center and bookstore will be closed for several weeks for construction. A temporary Visitor Center will be set up in the parking lot. The trail to the Lower Cliff Dwelling will be open during this period. No entrance fees will be collected.

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

NPS Photo

Black-tailed Jackrabbit
Lepus californicus

Body length: 17 - 21"
Diet: Green vegetation, including tree leaves

Jackrabbits are large hares with long legs. True to their name, black-tails have black-tipped tails, as well as black tips on their long ears.

Like the kangaroo rat, badger, coachwhip, and zebra-tailed lizard, this species is a creature of the lower desert valley at Tonto National Monument. Although relatively common north of Route 188, few are ever seen in the vicinity of the Visitor Center or cliff dwellings. With their speed (up to 35 mph) and excellent hearing, jackrabbits apparently feel most comfortable in open desert, where they can outrun predators such as hawks and coyotes. In contrast, the smaller cottontail rabbits prefer some cover, and are more likely to hide when a predator is near.

Did You Know?

snow in the desert

Tonto National Monument averages 15" of rain annually. Snow is a rare occurrence, but as long as temperatures remain above freezing, the saguaros don't seem to mind!