Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Last updated 4/30/24

Gila Cliff Dwellings is a small canyon near New Mexico’s Gila wilderness, but the ancient dwellings inside the canyon’s caves is just one reason to go. A beautiful mountain environment provides a respite from the desert heat most of the year, and the different forks of the Gila River provide amazing hiking and backpacking opportunities. There’s also free dry camping just outside of the national monument, in campgrounds provided by the Gila National Forest, as well as developed campgrounds with hookups and cabins a short drive down the road.

Best times to visit are in the spring to early summer and late summer to fall. It’s at a low enough elevation where the hottest parts of summer are uncomfortable for camping and hiking, but also high enough for most to feel uncomfortable in the winter. Pets are not allowed on the trail to the dwellings, but there are free kennels where you can keep animals if you don’t feel comfortable leaving them in the car with AC running.

Getting There In An EV

Quick Facts and Tips:

  • The park can be a little difficult to get to, as the nearest DC fast charging stations are all located in Deming, New Mexico, about 100 miles away. It’s a steep climb up to the Cliff Dwellings. There’s a V2 Tesla Supercharger station (open to Tesla vehicles only, adapter or not), an Electrify America station at Walmart, and a ChargePoint station at the NMDOT offices.
  • The park itself is small and does not have any electricity available. The nearby free campgrounds are all without hookups.
  • The nearest Level 2 charging stations are in Silver City, NM, about 45 miles away. The only one accessible 24/7 is at the Silver City Visitor’s center, with plenty of shopping, food, and recreation nearby.
  • The Gila Hot Springs RV Park (4.6 miles away) allows EV charging if you bring your own NEMA 14-50 charging cord. The 50 amp service can provide up to about 9 kilowatts, but it’s probably safer to pull around 6 kW (30 amps) for overnight charging on an RV park circuit. The RV park has RV and tent spaces with hookups, as well as cabins for rent.
  • There is no cellular service in the area. Satellite internet is your best option, but there is wifi at Doc Campbell’s Post, a small store with food, camping supplies, and souvenirs near the Gila Hot Springs RV Park, with the wifi password posted on the door so you can sit on their picnic table and use it after hours.

Unless you plan to stay at the RV park/cabins and charge with your own cord, you’ll definitely want to plan your trip using EV trip planning software. You’ll also want to bring along basic emergency supplies, as there is little to no cellular service in the area.

A fast charging station (50 kW) in Silver City will be opening soon and will make it a lot easier to access the Cliff Dwellings.

Links For Further Park and Nearby Information

Here’s a great video with general visitor information:

Featured image by the Federal Highway Administration (Public Domain).

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