Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

After leaving Silver City we passed the small town of Pinos Altos...

We decided to tailgate our picnic lunch before we arrived as there...

Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway...

We have been climbing for awhile...

I'm driving & decided it was time for Bonnie & I to...

It's a decent if not narrow road...

Yep, he's fake! Wonder what his purpose is???? LOL

This is located at the junction...Sad

Pretty rock formations below...

You can see for miles & miles...

Legendary leader Geronimo was born near the Gila River headwaters in the...

At the cliff dwellings...

Larry took plenty of pics with his phone...

Bonnie checking out the amazing view...

Before she went inside to hug my man! Tsk, tsk, tsk :)

One of several pictographs...

Love this pic!

It's very hard to share the size & scope of these dwellings...

You can see how narrow the path is here & quite a...

Time to head down, it's almost 5pm...Can you see the profile of...

How about now?

I wonder how they got up there? Ladders & ropes of course,...

The volunteer is herding us along, they are closing!

Parking lot coming into view as we descend...

Back down on the ground by the river...Lovely isn't it!


This is part two of the Gila Cliff Dwellings. You might remember that the cliff itself was created by volcanic activity and contains the ruins of interlinked cave dwellings built in five cliff alcoves by the Mogollon peoples. People of the Mogollon culture lived in these cliff dwellings from between 1275 and 1300 AD. Archeologists have identified 46 rooms in the five caves, and believed they were occupied by 10 to 15 families. It is not known why the dwellings were abandoned. Hopi oral tradition does say migrations occurred due to cycles of beliefs, and in response to changing climate.

The dwellings were a perfect place for human living. The caves provided adequate shelter, while the wooded area concealed the homes. Impressively, the wood found in these shelters has proven to be original. Tree ring dating has determined that the wood used in the dwellings was cut down sometime between 1276 to 1287. The nearby area also provided for growing and finding food.

Visiting the Dwellings up close required hiking a well-traveled, one mile trail loop with several foot bridges over a stream. It climbed 180 feet above the canyon floor & was steep & rocky in places. We brought walking sticks, water & a hat & also wore good walking shoes. The weather was perfect & we had a wonderful day! I'm going to backtrack a bit in this post & show a few photos taken both on our way to the dwellings as well as a few taken on our way home. Which was a different route by the way! We traveled NM 15 to NM 35 to NM 61 to US 180 for our return trip & if we were to go again I would take this route in both directions. Less windy & scenic too. Just our opinion! Anyway, hope you enjoy the pics & have a great day! :)



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