• 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. More »

Colorado River Toad

colorado river toad

Colorado River Toad

NPS Photo

Colorado River Toad
Bufo alvarius

Body length: 4 - 7 1/2"
Diet: Insects, especially Pinacate beetles, centipedes, amphibians, etc.

Colorado River toads are sometimes mistaken for bullfrogs because of their large size and relatively smooth skin. The prominent bumps below the eyes are called parotoid glands, which are characteristic of true toads. These glands and the skin contain organic substances which are toxic, and have been known to paralyze or kill dogs.

Sometimes called the Sonoran Desert toad, this is our largest western toad, reaching a length of over 7 inches (not including legs)! It ranges throughout the Monument and is well-adapted to desert life. Like most desert toads, Colorado River toads are active almost exclusively at night, particularly during or after summer rains.

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...