• 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.

Western Banded Gecko

western banded gecko

Western Banded Gecko

NPS Photo

Western Banded Gecko
Coleonyx variegatus

Body length: 2 - 3"
Diet: Arthropods such as insects and spiders

With their colorful banded pattern and deliberate movements, western banded geckos are sometimes confused with young Gila monsters. However, geckos are much smaller, more delicate, and not venomous.

Like a number of other lizards, geckos readily lose their tail to predators. This detached tail continues to wriggle long after the rest of the lizard has made its escape, thus confusing the predator. Though they may be active underground during the day, western banded geckos and desert night lizards are the only truly nocturnal lizards at the Monument. Look for them throughout Tonto Basin on warm summer nights.

Did You Know?

striped skunk

Four different varieties of skunk have been seen at Tonto National Monument - the hooded, hog-nosed, striped, and spotted. They may look different, but they all smell the same! More...