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

    Gila Cliff Dwellings

    National Monument New Mexico

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  • Time Change for Guided Tours

    Effective Sunday November 2nd, our daily guided tour will change to 1 PM. Through Saturday November 1st, the tour will be at 11 AM. You must be at the tour start (about 1/2 mile hike) by the start time. Of course, self guided tours are still available.

  • 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 »


A photo of a javelina rooting with it's nose, near trailhead to the Cliff Dwellings.

Javelina rooting with it's nose.

NPS Photo by Barry Nielsen

The most common large mammals in the area are black bear, mountain lion, elk, and mule deer. Smaller mammals abound and include rabbits, jackrabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, beaver, and so forth. A program involving large mammals, that is of particular note is the reintroduction of the endangered Mexican gray wolf (canis lupus baileyi) into the nearby Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, which consists of areas in Arizona and New Mexico. This reintroduction within the subspecies' historic range is the first step toward recovery of the Mexican wolf in the wild. The Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area consists of the entire Apache and Gila National Forests in east-central and west-central New Mexico. Wolves are reintroduced into a primary recovery area in Arizona, but are allowed to disperse throughout the entire recovery area. If the [US Fish and Wildlife] Service finds it to be both necessary for recovery and feasible, it will reintroduce wolves into the White Sands Wolf Recovery Area, which also lies within the subspecies' historic range. This area consists of all land within the boundaryof the White Sands Missile Range in south-central New Mexico together with land immediately to the west of the missile range. By this rule, the [US Fish and Wildlife] Service classifies wolves to be re-established in these areas as a nonessential experimental population under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.

The following mammals listed in the brochure "Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals...A Species Checklist for the Gila National Forest", which can be obtained by calling the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center at (575) 536-9461 or click on the link below.

Unless otherwise noted, abundance of each species ranges from uncommon to fairly common to common. Residency, the time of the year in which the species normally appears, is listed only for bats.
Merriam's Shrew - rare
Dusky Shrew, Desert Shrew
Plain Nose Bats:
Southwestern Myotis - summer resident
Yuma Myotis - summer resident
Long-eared Myotis - summer resident
Fringed Myotis - permanent resident
Long-legged Myotis - summer resident
California Myotis - summer resident
Little Brown Myotis - summer resident
Western Small-footed Myotis - permanent resident
Silver-haired Bat - summer resident
Western Pipistrelle - summer resident
Big Brown Bat - permanent resident
Hoary Bat - transient
Western Red Bat - rare - summer resident
(Allen's) Mexican Big-eared Bat - summer resident
Spotted Bat - rare - summer resident
Big-eared Bats: Townsend's Bat - permanent resident
Pallid Bat - summer resident
Freetailed Bats:
Mexican Freetailed Bat - transient
Hares and Rabbits:
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit, Desert Cottontail, Eastern Cottontail Squirrels:
Abert's Squirrel, Arizona Gray Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Gunnison's Prairie Dog - rare, Spotted Ground Squirrel, Rock Squirrel, Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel - rare, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, Cliff Chipmunk, Gray-collared Chipmunk
Pocket Gophers:
Botta's Pocket Gopher
Kangaroo Rats and Pocket Mice:
Desert Pocket Mouse, Silky Pocket Mouse, Ord's Kangaroo Rat, Merriam's Kangaroo Rat
Native Rats, Mice, and Voles:
Northern Grasshopper Mouse, Southern Grasshopper Mouse, Western Harvest Mouse, Northern Rock Mouse, Cactus Mouse, Grateful Mouse, Deer Mouse, White-footed Mouse, Brush Mouse, Pinyon Mouse, Hispid Cotton Rat ,Yellow-bellied Cotton Rat, White-throated Wood Rat, Stephen's Woodrat, Mexican Woodrat, Montane Vole, Mexican Vole, Long-tailed Vole, Southern Red-backed Vole, Meadow Vole - extirpated, Muskrat House Mouse
Beaver Porcupines:
Porcupine Dogs and Allies:
Coyote, Gray Fox, Kit Fox
Black Bear
Raccoons and Allies:
Raccoon, Ringtail Coati, Nasua narica
Weasels, Skunks, and Allies:
Long-tailed weasel, Badger, Striped Skunk, Hooded Skunk, Western Spotted Skunk, Common Hog-nosed Skunk
Bobcat, Mountain Lion
Collared Peccary (Javelina)
Deer and Allies:
Elk or Wapiti, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer
Bighorn Sheep:
Bighorn Sheep


Did You Know?

Montezuma Quail

When afraid, Montezuma Quail simply freeze in place. This defense mechanism works against them when they encounter modern vehicles and freeze in place in the middle of the road. Montezuma Quail can be seen at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and surrounding Gila Wilderness.