NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION The Gila cliff dwellings lie 44 miles (71 km) north of Silver City in south- western New Mexico, USA DATE OF
13th and 14th centuries DAYTIME
Jan: 42°F (6°C); Apr: 58°F (14°C); Jul: 78°F (26°C); Oct: 61°F (16°C)
In the heart of the Gila wilderness of New Mexico is Gila National Monument, established in 1907 to preserve dozens of ancient cliff dwellings. The homes, which were built into caves in a narrow canyon, shed some light on the mysterious Mogollon people, whose distinct and important Native-American culture was endemic to southwestern New Mexico, western Texas, southeastern Arizona and northern Mexico.
More than 103 historic buildings are located here, including an enormous dwelling with around 200 rooms. Other monolithic buildings to explore at the site include rock shelters and pit houses.
Getting There and Around There is no public transportation to the ruins. The nearest major airports are Albuquerque, El Paso, Tucson, and Phoenix, all of which are around 4 to 6 hours’ drive away. Car rental is also available.
When to Go Spring (Apr–May) and fall (Sep–Oct) are the most pleasant times to visit, weather-wise.