Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

After recovering from volunteering at the Tour of the Gila, we visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings - a 44 mile drive north of Silver City. The drive takes about two hours as the roads twist and winds through the Gila National Forest - following the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway. The view above was taken from NM Highway 15 as you get ready to drop into the Gila River Valley.

It is a one-way, one mile loop hike up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. You start by crossing a large pedestrian bridge over the Gila River.

View of the Gila River from the bridge.

The scenery along the hike up Cliff Dwellers Canyon is very nice and shady.

A well marked trail offers plenty of unique views of the canyon.

Getting our first glimpse of the cliff dwellings from the canyon below. The ascent consists of over 150 steps up to the dwellings site.

Looking through an alcove towards the main rooms of the cliff dwellings.

Heather passing the first alcove.

We took stairs up into the cliff dwellings - plenty of rooms to see and explore.

Inside a communal gathering room.

You could exit the cliff dwellings by this ladder or go back to the entrance and use the stairs. Can you guess what Heather did???

On the hike down Heather spotted this Spiny Crevice Lizard.

Parting shot - wildflower in bloom.