From your retreat at The Wilderness Lodge and Hot Springs, you are just 4 miles from the world-famous Gila Cliff Dwellings, providing a step back more than 700 years into the lives of some of the earliest inhabitants of this land.
The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument gives you a look into 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 at the dwellings and The Wilderness Lodge today probably look very much like they did when the cliff dwellings were inhabited. The Dwellings are surrounded by the Gila National Forest and lie 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.
From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the Cliff Dwellings are open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and the Visitor Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The rest of the year, the Cliff Dwellings are open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the Visitor Center is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Cliff Dwellings, trailhead Contact Station, and Gila Visitor Center are closed on Christmas Day. On New Year's Day, the Gila Visitor Center is closed, but the Contact Station and the Cliff Dwellings are open with the normally scheduled tours offered.
Guided tours of the Cliff Dwellings are offered daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. as part of the entrance fee. Please note that the tours start at the Cliff Dwellings and it takes about a half hour to walk up to them from the trailhead. A self-guided tour is available at all times and an accompanying booklet is available at the Visitor Center and the trailhead Contact Station.