Silver City, NM 88061
- Historical Site
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers a glimpse of the homes and lives of the people of the Mogollon culture who lived in the Gila Wilderness from the 1280s through the early 1300s. The surroundings probably look today very much like they did when the cliff dwellings were inhabited. Archaeologists have identified 46 rooms among the Cliff Dwellings, and though small by comparison to other ancient New Mexico civilizations, the Gila Cliff Dwellings are remarkable in their setting amidst vast wilderness.
The Gila Cliff Dwellings are a National Monument managed by the National Park Service, surrounded by the Gila National Forest and at the edge of the Gila Wilderness, the nation's first designated wilderness area. This designation means that the wilderness character of the area will not be altered by the intrusion of roads or other evidence of human presence. Getting to the Gila Cliff Dwellings and other Gila attractions is short in mileage but longer in travel time. The roads can be tricky in inclement weather, but this makes the area all the more rewarding once you have arrived.
Map + Directions
Plane - 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 automobile.
Car - 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, please call the Visitor Center at 505-536-9461 to find out about road conditions.
Bus - Tour buses should take Highway 35.