Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in the Gila Wilderness (The Nation's First Wilderness Area) of southwestern New Mexico. The 533-acre (2.16 km2) national monument was established by executive proclamation on November 16, 1907, by President Theodore Roosevelt.It is located in the extreme southern part of Catron County. Tourists can access the site by traveling from US 180, from Silver City, New Mexico, to NM 15.
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 5,700 to 7,300 feet above sea level. In the immediate vicinity of the Cliff Dwellings, elevations range from 5,700 to about 6,000 feet. 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).
A museum and visitor center is located at the monument. The visitor center is jointly operated by the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service, which maintains a small museum of artifacts, Apache and Mogollon uncovered both in the surrounding wilderness, and at the main ruins themselves. Artifacts on display include a glycemerus clam shell bracelet, traded from the Gulf of California, etched and drilled at a Hohokam village near present Phoenix, Snaketown, then traded up the Gila River, to its headwaters near the Gila Cliff Dwellings.
The park has a mild climate, with a rainy season that goes from July to August. During the spring and fall the days are moderate and the nights are cool. During the winter months the afternoons are nice with cold morning and nights.