• 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.

Harris' antelope squirrel

Harris' antelope squirrel

Harris' antelope squirrel

NPS Photo

Harris' Antelope Squirrel
Ammospermophilus harrisii

Body length: 6 - 6 1/4"
Diet: Seeds, green vegetation, insects, and carrion

Like many squirrels, this species adapts well to humans and is an active forager in the Visitor Center parking lot. Please don't feed them - they are known to bite, and squirrels that learn to live off humans are all the more likely to be run over by cars.

Watching antelope squirrels forage in the wild is a treat. They are adept at climbing both barrel and cholla cacti in search of seeds from the fruit. This squirrel is remarkably desert-adapted, and can often be seen dashing about when the temperature exceeds 100° F. It survives by keeping these trips short, and retreating to cool, moister burrows underground. Because they do not hibernate, antelope squirrels can be seen all winter long.

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!