• 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. More »

Trees and Shrubs

palo verde

Palo Verde

NPS photo

Many people are surprised at the number of plant species at Tonto National Monument, especially trees and shrubs. This is due in part to two rainy seasons. We get an average of 16" of rain annually, with approximately half of it falling during the summer months. This is, of course, just when the trees are able to make use of it. The winter rains are responsible for our spring wildflowers (or lack thereof!)

Many of the trees and shrubs were used by native people for food, medicine, building materials, clothing, etc. The following is not a complete list of plants found here, but includes the more common trees and shrubs. Click on the links for more information about them.

Palo verde
Mesquite
Desert Willow
Catclaw
Elderberry
Arizona Walnut
Arizona Dewberry
Netleaf Hackberry
Wolfberry
Brittlebush
Jojoba
Oreganillo
Mormon Tea
Ocotillo
Creosote
Desert Tobacco

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...