• 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.

Hot Springs / Geothermal Areas

A photo of a visitor enjoying the hot springs at Lightfeather Hot Spring in December

Visitor at Lightfeather Hot Spring in December.

NPS Photo by Anita Deming

There are several hot springs in the National Forest and within hiking distance of the visitors center. Temperatures range from hot to very hot. Two of the most popular are Jordan Hot Springs and Lightfeather Hot Springs.

Light feather is about a twenty minute walk and two river crossings away from the Gila Visitors Center along Trail 157. It is situated in a steep canyon and flows from the base of a hill into the Middle Fork of the Gila River. The water pulses from the ground in about one minute increments and has a temperature of about 130 degrees. Geothermal activity may cause the rocks in the riverbed to be hot in some spots.

Jordan Hot Springs is six miles from the visitors center via Little Bear Canyon and eight miles via the Middle Fork route. The hot springs is about twenty feet in diameter, is about three feet deep, and has a water temperature of about 94 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a very popular hot spring and many people use it.

Be aware that an organism in the water may cause a form of meningitis, if the organism comes into contact with mucus membranes, and therefore it is not advisable to immerse one's head in the springs.

Did You Know?

Mortar Handprint

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.