Gila Monster
Gila Monster

NPS Photo

Summer is the time to be in the monument for wildlife viewing, especially if you are looking for reptiles. At Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, you have the chance to see a large variety of desert reptiles, some of which might be familiar, and others that are unique to the Sonoran Desert. Most lizards move fast, so keep your eyes peeled for fleeting glimpses of these amazing desert critters.

Reptiles hibernate in the cooler winters, waiting until surface temperatures rise to the 80s or 90s before becoming active. They can purposefully regulate their body temperatures by basking on trails, resting under bushes, or taking advantage of microclimates. Count yourself lucky if you have the chance to see a rattlesnake, follow a gila monster, or accidentally come upon a desert tortoise.


Reptile species found within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument include:

  • Gila Monster
  • Desert Tortoise
  • Chuckwalla
  • Tree Lizard
  • Gopher Snake
  • Rattlesnakes

Last updated: June 24, 2018

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

10 Organ Pipe Drive
Ajo , AZ 85321


520 387-6849

Contact Us

Stay Connected