Thunderstorm Safety Closures Possible
When thunderstorms are nearby, the trail to and from the Gila Cliff Dwellings is closed. Please check local forecasts before you visit. Thunderstorms are typically more likely in the afternoon. On some afternoons it is not possible to reopen. More »
Guided Tours Currently Not Available Every Day
Due to a current shortage of volunteer staffing, guided tours of the cliff are not offered every day. Check at the visitor center upon arrival. Volunteers at the Cliff Dwellings will still be available to answer questions during your self guided tours.
Feast or Famine? Document F
Title: The Archeology of Gila Cliff Dwellings
Author: Keith Anderson
The West Fork of the Gila meanders over gravel bottoms in a valley 115 m to 400 m wide. There are small pockets of apparently stable soil, through rocky and sandy, that were in all likelihood productive locations for farming near the river, downstream from Cliff Dweller Canyon. Equally promising are benches and terraces 12 m to 35 m above the river channel. There is a permanent spring 100 m below the dwellings. …the growing season is about 150 days…
Anderson, Keith. The Archeology of Gila Cliff Dwellings. 1. Tucson: Western Archeological and Conservation Center, 1986. Print.
Did You Know?
A shell bracelet found in the Gila Cliff Dwellings in New Mexico was traced to the Gulf of California. Other items indicate trade among the peoples of a large region including macaw parrot feathers, seeds from Mesoamerica, a buffalo scapula, and textiles from plants not grown in the area.