17 August 2015
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is one of the least visited national monuments and Curt and I found out why. It is only 44 miles north of Silver City but the drive is over the most twisty roads ever created through the Gila National Wilderness.
Many questions still remain about the people that lived in these dwellings to include why! The ancient puebloan people of the Mogollon area belonged to areas of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and northern Mexico. The knowledge archeoligists do have is based on the pottery style. Of course none of it is there now but you can see a couple examples of petroglyphs.
The caves consist of about 40 rooms built inside five natural caves. The peublo was built inside the caves with rock, mortar and timber from between 1276 and 1287. For some reason the inhabitants only stayed for a few decades.
The cliff dwellings are in the center of a 1 mile circular trail that can be a bit steep and rocky as well as sunny. But it offers good views of the dwelligs from all angles. There a couple of caves you can go in to and peek inside the rooms. Most of what the rooms were used for is speculation.