Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Overview

Peak into the homes and lives of the Mogollon people who lived in this area over 700 years ago. The surroundings at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument probably look today very much like they did when the cliff dwellings were inhabited. The national monument is surrounded by the Gila National Forest and lies within the Gila Wilderness, the nation's first designated wilderness area. A number of exciting activities include bird watching, fishing, hiking, interpretive programs, nature walks, stargazing, and wildlife viewing. Guided tours of the Cliff Dwellings are also offered daily. Don't miss the several popular hot springs in the area. The closest wilderness hot spring, Lightfeather, is a 20-minute walk from the Gila Visitor Center. Jordan, the most popular hot springs is a six or eight-mile hike from the visitor center, depending upon the trailhead used. Private hot springs are also located in the community of Gila Hotsprings, four miles from the monument.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

The park has a mild climate, with a rainy season usually from July through August. Spring and Fall have moderate days and cool nights. Winter months often have nice afternoons with cold mornings and nights.

During the summer daytime highs average in the 90s while nighttime lows can reach into the 50s. During the winter daytime highs can be in the 50s, while nighttime lows can reach into the teens.

Directions

Driving: 

Take State Highway 15 north from Silver City. Although the distance from Silver City is only 44 miles, the travel time is approximately two hours due to twisting and winding mountain terrain. An alternative route from Silver City is along NM State Highway 35 and goes through the Mimbres Valley. Even though it is 25-miles longer than Highway 15, it is less winding, wider, more level, and easier to travel; therefore it takes about the same amount of time as State Highway 15.

If your vehicle, travel trailer, or RV is over 20 feet in length, you should take Highway 35.

The highways approaching the National Monument are not plowed at nights and on weekends. After snowstorms, call the visitor center to find out about road conditions.

Flying: 

Limited commercial air service is available to Silver City. The nearest major airports are in El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona, both of which are about four hours away by car.