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 N
Title: Mogollon Prehistoric Cultures of the Southwest
Author: Rose Houk
…In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, most Mogollon people had found a mecca in central Arizona. Pueblos there grew to house more people, and by the fourteenth century nearly everyone was living in communities of one hundred to eight hundred rooms. Northern folk were entering the mountains from the plateau country, sometimes living with the Mogollon, other times setting up their own pueblos. People were migrating in from the east and from the southern deserts as well. Severe drought, lasting from 1276 to 1299, had hit parts of the Southwest, and the mountains offered refuge.
Houk, Rose. Mogollon. Western Natl Parks Assoc, 1992. Print.
Did You Know?
The Gila Cliff Dwellings were built in the 13th century by the ancient Puebloans of the Mogollon area. They formed the walls using chunks of Gila Conglomerate found within the caves. Mortar was required to keep the walls together. In some places you can still see the handprints of the builders.