Coachwhip

coachwhip snake hiding in a tree
Coachwhip

NPS Photo

Coachwhip
Masticophis flagellum

Body length: 36 - 102"
Diet: Small mammals, birds, lizards, snakes, and insects

Coachwhips are fast, day-active snakes. They are rarely encountered at Tonto National Monument, but are often seen at lower elevations, closer to Roosevelt Lake. They are one of Arizona's fastest snakes, officially clocked at 3.6 miles per hour (although they seem much faster).

An unusual feature of this snake is that it may be completely black, completely red, completely brown, or some combination of these three colors. In many areas there appears to be no rhyme or reason to this coloring, and black, brown, and red snakes may live side-by-side. Thus "black racers", "red racers" (as they are sometimes called), and coachwhips are really just different color types of the same snake.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26260 N AZ Hwy 188 Lot 2
Roosevelt, AZ 85545

Phone:

(928) 467-2241
Please call if you have any question on Tonto National Monument or the cliff dwellings. Call to check availability and book a guided tour for the Upper Cliff Dwelling (November through April).

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