On November 16, 1907, Teddy Roosevelt signed the proclamation that recognized the "group of cliff-dwellings known as the Gila Hot Springs Cliff-Houses" as a national monument being "of exceptional scientific and educational interest" as the best representative of the Cliff-Dwellers' remains of that region. 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. It is surrounded by the Gila National Forest and lies in the middle of the Gila Wilderness, the nation's first designated wilderness area. Wilderness designation means that the wilderness character of the area will not be altered by the intrusion of roads or other evidence of human presence.