• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

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?

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.