• Lower Cliff Dwelling


    National Monument Arizona

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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.

Longnose Snake

Longnose Snake

Longnose Snake

NPS Photo

Longnose Snake
Rhinocheilus lecontei

Body length: 20 - 41"
Diet: Small snakes, lizards, and rodents

Banded in black, yellow, and/or red, longnose snakes are often confused with kingsnakes, but have less distinct bands and a longer (or at least more narrow) nose. These snakes are relatively common at lower elevations in the Tonto Basin. Excellent burrowers, they are almost never seen above ground during the day. When threatened, these snakes seldom bite, but may defend themselves by coiling, striking, vibrating their tail, defecating, and even bleeding from the rear vent.

The color of snakes is not always useful in distinguishing one species from the next. Some longnose snakes, for example, have prominent red blotches, and others have no red color at all. It was once thought that these black "clarus" snakes were a distinct subspecies - until 1963, when both types were found in the same clutch of eggs.

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!