• 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.

Sonoran Whipsnake

sonoran whipsnake

Sonoran Whipsnake

NPS Photo

Sonoran Whipsnake
Masticophis bilineatus

Body length: 24 - 67"
Diet: Birds, lizards, and frogs

This conspicuous day-active species is common throughout Tonto National Monument. If you see (very briefly!) a greenish-gray snake streaking away from you on the trail, the chances are good it's a Sonoran whipsnake. The whipsnake's keen eyesight and speed are used to chase down lizards and other prey.

Whipsnakes seem to be as comfortable in trees as on the ground, and they may be an important predator of birds such as cactus wrens and thrashers. Other food items include frogs, rodents, eggs, insects, and even carrion. When captured by humans, whipsnakes bite aggressively, often drawing blood. However, they are not venomous or harmful in any way.

Did You Know?

western diamondback rattlesnake

Tonto National Monument is home to at least 160 species of birds, 6 species of amphibians, 32 species of reptiles, 26 species of land mammals, and at least 14 species of bats. More...