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.
The monument is surrounded by the Gila National Forest and lies within the rugged Gila Wilderness, the nation's first wilderness area. The Gila National Forest is administered by the United States Forest Service. The wilderness designation means that the wilderness character of the area will not be altered by the intrusion of roads or other evidence of human presence. We invite you to explore the area on foot or horse, and we remind you to "take only photos and leave only footprints." Stop by or call the Gila Visitor Center at 575-536-9461 to obtain more information. You can also find out more by visiting the Gila National Forest's website.
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.