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Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

  • Address: 44 New Mexico 15
  • Vicinity: 44 mi (70 km) N of Silver City, 2 hour drive through twisting and winding mountain terrain
  • Hours: Gila Cliff Dwellings, Gila Visitor Center and Gila Cliff Dwellings Trailhead Contact Station are open every day of the year, including all holidays.
  • Phone: (575) 536-9461
  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Historic District

A Window to the World of the Ancestors

Explore the world of ancestors of Puebloan people who lived in the Mogollon area over 700 years ago. Enter the village they built within five of the natural caves of Cliff Dweller Canyon. Become inspired by the remaining architecture. Admire the spectacular views from inside these ancient dwellings. - NPS


Geography »


The terrain is rugged, with steep-sided canyons cut by shallow rivers and forested with ponderosa pine, Gambel's oak, Douglas fir, New Mexico juniper, pinon pine, and alligator juniper (among others). - NPS


The most common large mammals encountered are mule deer and elk. Black bear and mountain lion are in the area, but are seldom seen. Coyotes can sometimes be heard at night. Because the Gila National Forest plays a role in the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf. Wolves may be in the area, but encountering them would be rare. The most common birds in the vicinity of the monument are vultures, ravens, crows, hawks, hummingbirds, and various songbirds. - NPS


Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is located in the Gila Wilderness within the Gila National Forest. Within a few miles of the Cliff Dwellings, elevations range from around 5700 to 7300 feet above sea level. In the immediate vicinity of the Cliff Dwellings, elevations range from 5700 to about 6000 feet. - NPS

Information »


The climate is usually dry with July and August as the rainy months. During the rainy months there is a possibility of short but intense rain each day. Monthly rainfall can vary from almost three inches in August to a third of an inch in May, the driest month. Precipitation in winter ranges from about half an inch per month to an inch and a half.

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

Data »

Particulars for Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument:
Cultural Affiliation Archaic--Classic Mimbres
Area of Significance Architecture
Criteria Architecture-Engineering
Owner Federal
Area of Significance Historic - aboriginal
Sight Category Historic District
Criteria Information Potential
Cultural Affiliation Mogollon
Historic Use Multiple dwelling
Level of Significance National
Area of Significance Prehistoric
Historic Use Village site

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration: 15th October 1966

Registry Name: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
Registry Address: Address Restricted
Registry Number: 66000472
Resource Type: District
Owner: Federal
Architectural Style: No style listed
Area in Acres: 533
Contributing Sites: 33
Other Certification: Additional documentation
Certification: Listed in the National Register
Nominator Name: National Monument
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Prehistoric, Historic - aboriginal, Architecture
Applicable Criteria: Architecture-Engineering, Information Potential
Cultural Affiliation: Archaic--Classic Mimbres
Period of Significance: 499-0 BC, 1499-1000 AD, 1000-500 AD, 499-0 AD
Historic Function: Domestic
Historic Sub-Function: Village site, Multiple dwelling
Current Function: Landscape
Current Sub-Function: Park

Activities »

Activities in the monument include bird watching, fishing, hiking, interpretive programs, nature walks, stargazing, and wildlife viewing.

Activities in the wilderness include backpacking, bird watching, camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, stargazing and wildlife viewing. - NPS

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