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

    Gila Cliff Dwellings

    National Monument New Mexico

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  • 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.

Ranger Guided

A park ranger points out an artificat found on the ground.
Remnants of the Tularosa and Classic Mimbres Mogollon people are still found throughout the park. Please remember to leave artifacts where you find them.

approx. 2 hours

Objectives: At the end of the tour, students will be able to

  • Describe what the Tularosa Mogollon people ate.
  • List the animals the Mogollon hunted.
  • List the foods they farmed and where they farmed them.
  • List what they gathered in the area.
  • Discuss how archeologists know what they know about the Cliff Dwellers.
  • Analyze ways students can help preserve archeological sites.
  • Discuss the importance of taking care of archeological sites.

This program is ideal (and benchmarked) for New Mexico classrooms grades 3 through 8.


Pre-Visit Vocabulary Sheet

Student Handout (to be used while at the park)


Benchmarked for Grades 2 through 6
In this activity, students will represent deer populations and exemplify how population changes are dependent on the resources available in a given area.

Teacher Info

mule deer on side of the road looking at camera
There are four things within an ecosystem that all living things need: food (energy source), water, shelter (protection from the elements) and space. Explain that all animals (humans included) need these four elements to live in an area. When there are enough of these resources in an environment, then populations increase. But if even one of the elements is scarce, then populations decrease because individuals from the population compete for the limited amount of resources.

Did You Know?

Geronimo Plaque

Geronimo said, “I was born at the headwaters of the Gila River.” The Gila area in New Mexico is the traditional homeland of the Eastern Bands of Chiricahua Apache and remains important to their oral traditions, history and cultural identity.