[W]e don't usually see Gila monsters here on our property until monsoon season starts, lo & behold, one showed up yesterday (3/15/2013)!
We were having our old evap cooler replaced... the new unit sits up on metal legs. In between carting stuff back & forth, the workmen found a Gila monster had crawled underneath the new evap cooler. They carefully put the Gila monster in a bucket & brought it to us. I was so happy they were so respectful & careful! After a photo op that really shows how big this one was, we turned it loose away from the house near a very shady palo verde along a small wash that runs through our property. After checking things out with several flicks of its big black tongue, it trundled away into the shade.
Here it is in the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket... we estimated it was about 18 inches long. It looked very healthy, with an obviously very fat tail. If you look carefully at the top of the monster's head, you can see a patch that looks like dirt, but we think it may be old skin about to be shed since its tail had some small, ragged pieces of skin hanging off & its color overall was a bit on the dull side.