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 on Many Days
Due to a current shortage of volunteer staffing, guided tours of the cliff dwellings are offered only infrequently. Self-guided tours remain available from 9 am to 4 pm MDT daily.
NPS Photo by Andrew Herzik
Because of its remote location, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and the surrounding Gila Wilderness suffer few of the problems that parks closer to urban areas do. There are relatively few invasive species and little air or light pollution. There is seldom any extraneous noise, although some may come on rare occasion from low-flying airliners or rowdy campers. Giardia may be present in the rivers, streams, and springs and therefore all water obtained in the backcountry or from untreated sources should be filtered using a .2 micron filter. Vistas from ridge and mountaintops may be spectular and the weather is usually pleasant during the summer, although it may very hot during the drier months.
Did You Know?
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.