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

    Gila Cliff Dwellings

    National Monument New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • 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 »

  • 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.

Plants

A photo of a bright purple common chockcherry ripening in the sun along a trail.

Common chokecherry

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).

If you would like a more complete list of plants common in this area, click to download "Common Plants in the Vicinity of Gila Cliff Dwellings".

Did You Know?

Cliff Dwelling Vigas

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.