Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Operating on Summer Season Schedule, Silver City, NM – Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument announces that Cliff Dweller Trail with access to the base of the cliff dwellings is open between 9 am and 4:00 pm daily. The trail to the inside of the dwellings is temporarily closed as a public health precaution. The access trail is a moderately strenuous one-mile round trip, and generally takes between 1 and 1½ hours to complete. Visitors will have until 5:00 pm to exit the monument. If you are planning on hiking up to the dwellings, we suggest wearing layers, wearing sturdy shoes, and bringing plenty of water, especially during hot weather. No other food or flavored drinks are allowed on the trail.
The operating hours will not affect Gila National Forest or Gila Wilderness trails or corral facilities. For more information about the Gila National Forest please go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/gila
The health and safety of those who visit and work in national parks continues to be paramount, which is why we ask visitors to be our partner in wearing a face mask when social distancing is not possible. The CDC has offered guidance to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases while enjoying the outdoors.
Park rangers remain on duty to protect visitors and resources and uphold normal regulations. When recreating, the public is encouraged to follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, social distance and avoid high-risk outdoor activities. In some circumstance’s visitors should be prepared for limited access to services.
We urge visitors to park only in designated areas, pack out everything you bring into a park, plan a visit at times other than busiest of the day, have a face mask available for immediate use and maintain social distance from other visitors, and if you encounter a crowded trail-head or overlook, seek another location to recreate.
Remember you can #RecreateResponsibly by following these easy tips:
- Know before you go. Visit NPS.gov/findapark for current park conditions and availability of restrooms and other facilities. Make a plan, follow the 10 Essentials, and if you are sick, stay home.
- Keep it close. Follow the state and county orders governing the open status of the area you’re considering visiting. The National Park Service is working closely with governors and state and local health departments as we increase access and services across the National Park System.
- Keep your distance. Recreate with the people in your household. Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail, at a boat launch, or in a parking lot. Follow the CDC social distancing guidelines for staying six feet away from others. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth if you’re near others.
- Know your limits. Postpone challenging hikes or trying new activities while first responders, parks, and communities continue to concentrate on responding to the pandemic.
- Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities will continue to be limited in many park areas . Follow Leave No Trace principles.
- Keep it inclusive. Be an active part of making our nation’s parks and public lands safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.
When visiting Gila Cliff Dwellings, remember to give yourself time!
You need time to drive to the Monument. The 44-mile trip from Silver City will take at least 1-1/4 hours and up to 2 hours due to the mountainous and winding nature of the road.
You need time to walk the trail to the dwellings. The park opens to the public at 9 am and access ends at 4 pm. Visitors already in the park before then have until 5 pm to exit the Monument. Please plan accordingly.
You need time to explore and discover the dwellings.
Gila Cliff Dwellings is one of the few remaining parks that allows visitors to enter caves and dwelling rooms. Take advantage of this opportunity and give yourself time so you don't feel rushed or miss something.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, access into the caves is restricted at this time. Visitors are still welcome on Cliff Dweller Trail and can walk right up to the dwellings; they're just not permitted inside. We appreciate your patience with us as we work to provide safe access. Please check back regularly for updates.
The Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness Areas are perfect opportunities to connect with the natural world. However, you need to be prepared for wilderness conditions before you head out. Plan your trip carefully and think twice about venturing into the Wilderness if you are not an experienced hiker. Water availability is highly variable depending on time of year and weather conditions. Trails may-- or may not--be obvious to you and signs are often found, but not a guarantee. Cell phones do NOT work anywhere in the region. You must be prepared to be self-reliant under all conditions. Check in at the visitor center for current information, but already have your plans made in advance.