Gila Cliff Dwellings - Girls get a History Lesson

Trip Start Feb 03, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Silver City RV Park
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Saturday, March 3, 2012

Nestled in the beautiful Gila wilderness area lies the Gila Cliff Dwellings, home to the Mogollon people some 700 years ago.  The monument is located on 553 acres of national park, designated as a wilderness area.  The cliff, created by volcanic activity contains 46 unique rooms across 5 caves and were built some time around 1300 AD.  It is not known why the dwellings were abandoned and while the Mogollons have long since moved on, the structures they built still live on in remarkable shape.  The area provided a perfect places for the tribe to survive - the caves provided shelter, were well concealed and the wooded area provided warmth in the winter and building materials.  The natural spring in the canyon below provided fresh water and fertile lands nearby provided food.  Also, there are pine tree's there so who WOULDN'T want to live there.  

We all had a great time hiking the 1 mile trail up to the dwellings and back, and it was the girls first such hike of many we plan to take on this trip.  I think that both of them handled the hike very well, and Sarah even said she wanted to do it again some time.  It helped that there were several pine cones and rocks for them to collect along the way.  

Miranda had never seen anything like it before and enjoyed the history lesson.  I visited this site several times when I was a kid so it was only fitting to bring my family there so they could also enjoy natures beauty.  It's hard to believe that even with all of our modern technology, we cannot build structures such as these that last centuries! 

Overall we had a great adventure, and hope to return some day!

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Aunt Vettsie on

Love the pictures!

Erin on

If you can fit it into your trip, try to stop at Mesa Verde. It's in northern Arizona, just a few hours away from Durango. Chaco Canyon in northern NM is also impressive, and nicer in the spring and fall.

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