Cliff Dwellings Closed June 3 through 7; TJ Site Tours Offered
The Gila Cliff Dwellings will be closed from June 3 through 7, 2013 for hazard rock removal from the cliff face directly above the dwellings. Ranger-guided tours of the TJ Site will be offered at 11 am and 2 pm while the cliff dwellings are closed. More »
Natural Features & Ecosystems
NPS Photo by Barry Nielsen
Within a few miles of the cliff dwellings, elevations range from around 5,700 to 7,300 feet above sea level. In the immediate vicinity of the cliff dwellings, elevations range from 5,700 to about 6,000 feet. The terrain is rugged, with steep-sided canyons cut by shallow rivers; forested with ponderosa pine, Gambel's oak, Douglas fir, New Mexico juniper, pinon pine, and alligator juniper (among others); and usually dry. There are numerous caves in the area. There are several hot springs in the Gila National Forest and within hiking distance of the Visitor Center (there is also a privately-owned hot spring in the nearby community of Gila Hot Springs). Temperatures usually range from hot to very hot. The Visitor Center is located near the junction of the west and middle forks of the Gila River.
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.