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.
NPS Photo by Barry Nielsen
To view an interactive working plant list for Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and other surrounding southwest national parks, please visit the Southwest Environmental Information Network.
Some of the most common trees are Ponderosa pine, Gambel's oak, Douglas fir, New Mexico juniper, pinon pine, and alligator juniper. Cactus are common, with the most frequently observed being prickly pear and cholla. Two abundant species, which many visitors have never seen and therefore frequently inquire about, are buffalo gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima, also known as coyote melon) and prickly poppy (Argemne platycepas).
Did You Know?
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.