• Lower Cliff Dwelling


    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.

Cliff Chipmunk

cliff chipmunk

Cliff Chipmunk

NPS Photo

Cliff Chipmunk
Tamias dorsalis

Body length: 5 - 6"
Diet: Plant seeds, stems, and flowers

These extremely agile, bushy-tailed animals are frequently observed at the Lower and Upper Cliff Dwellings, where they can be seen running up sheer cliff walls. They apparently den in deep crevices above the cliff dwellings. In late spring, look for young chipmunks playing on the rocks and ruin walls.

The presence of cliff chipmunks at Tonto National Monument is noteworthy, because they are normally found in much higher mountain forests in Arizona. Here, they occur at elevations as low as 2,580 feet, 620 feet below their reported low range limit.

Did You Know?

old photo of the Lower Cliff Dwellings

The first known written record of the cliff dwellings at Tonto National Monument dates from 1880. Archeologist Adolph Bandelier visited the dwellings in 1883, and said they were some of the best preserved he had ever seen. More...