• Visitors hike along the base of the Gila Cliff Dwellings.

    Gila Cliff Dwellings

    National Monument New Mexico

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  • NM Highway 152 Closed

    NM Highway 152 between Hillsboro and San Lorenzo is closed due to multiple washouts. Anyone traveling south on Interstate 25 towards the Gila Cliff Dwellings should take NM 26 to Deming as an alternate route.

  • 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 L

Document: L

Title: Gila Cliff Dwellings an Introduction to Plants and Animals in the Area

Author: James Kavanagh

Source: A pocket naturalist guide

Animals common to Gila Cliff Dwellings


Turkey vulture

Golden eagle

Bald eagle

Red-tailed hawk

American kestrel

Common black-hawk

Great blue heron

Steller's Jay

Common Raven

Gambel's Quail

Wild Turkey

Pinyon Jay

Canyon Wren

Violet-green Swallow

Blue Grosbeak

Northern Flicker

Acorn Woodpecker

Western Bluebird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-headed Grosbeak

Rufous Hummingbird

Spotted Towhee

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Black-tailed Rattlesnake

Gopher Snake

Western Ribbon Snake

Crevice Spiny Lizard

Short-horned Lizard

Eastern Fence Lizard

Tiger Salamander

Gila Whiptail

Collared Lizard


Box Turtle

Canyon Treefrog

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Desert Cottontail

Abert's Squirrel

Rock Squirrel

Gray Fox

White-nosed Coati

Mexican Gray Wolf

Striped Skunk


Hooded Skunk


Mule Deer


Mountain Lion


American Beaver

Black Bear

Kavanagh, James. The Archeology of Gila Cliff Dwellings. 1. Tucson: Western Archeological and Conservation Center, 1986. Print.

Did You Know?

Cliff Dwelling Vigas

Stone axes made it challenging for the ancient Puebloans of the Mogollon area to cut down trees for vigas (roof beams) in the Gila Cliff Dwellings. So, before chopping the tree trunks, they would burn a small fire around the base of the trunk to weaken it so their axes could cut it down more easily.