We decided to re-visit the Silver City area for the sole purpose of going to the Gila Cliff dwellings. We are so happy that we did too! In speaking with the park volunteers we learned several things that we were unaware of: 1) US budget cuts have increased the need for volunteers to serve as rangers and guides in our national parks; 2) this is the last cliff dwelling site to allow visitors the ability to enter and walk through the actual dwellings. All of the others are now just photo opps from afar. We are so thrilled that we had already visited Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelly back in 2000….we got to scamper around those sites like monkeys high on bananas!
Gila Cliff dwellings park offers a glimpse into the homes and lives of the Mogollon people who lived in this area over 700 years ago. By the time the area was “discovered” much of the artifacts documenting the Mogollon culture had been removed and so the photos below are considered to be examples only of what they may have used.
The monument is a mere 44 miles outside Silver City and the drive through the pine forest at 7200′ is breathtaking, even the 18 miles of unmarked winding yet paved roadway is, with a few hairpins turns to does hold your attention.
My 3 min movie will take you through our visit to both the cliff dwellings and a spot down the road with pictographs and a dwelling that doesn’t require hiking boots and a walking stick.
If it wasn’t for the volunteers this monument would most likely be closed…we were so happy we decided to take the time to tour it. There were several …