These cliff dwellings are a miniature version of Mesa Verde National Monument. What makes them unique is that there are far few visitors due to where these cliff dwellings are located.
Surrounding the cliff dwellings is the Gila Wilderness. Don't get lost in this place--they may not find you!
Try to visit in the Fall, the weather at that time is enjoyable.
The accompanying photos were taken the latter part of October.
The hike up to the dwellings is not difficult and the climb up the trail is gradual. In the summer take a bottle of water.
Food and snacks are not allowed on the trail.
When in the dwellings you are allowed to go inside,but there are some areas that are viewable only.
Be sure and visit the museum and book shop. They have some excellent books on Indian culture, dwellings, and the history of the area.
Fondest memory: When we were there in October, there were only 3 cars in the parking lot. You can really feel the remoteness of the place.
Good food down the road about 20 miles where the road forks towards Lake Roberts.
You can't buy gasoline in the area, so be sure and gas up when leaving Silver City.
After the farming indians of the Mogollon culture left this region 700 years ago, the area may have been uninhabited for a period of years. In any case, these rugged canyons and mountains at the headwaters of the Gila River, later became the stronghold of nomadic bands of Apaches led by such warriors as Geronimo and Mangas Coloradas.
This monument in front of the Visitor Center commemorates that it is the birthplace of Chiricahua Apache Geronimo, shaman and chief, one of the most feared and respected of all American Indian leaders.
Although there is some controversy over the exact spot of Geronimo's birth, his own great-grandson, Harlyn Geronimo, says this is the place - in the No-danyon Canyon near the confluence of the west and middle forks of the Gila River.
Birthplace of Geronimo
The Gila River rises in the pinyon and spruce forests of the Elk Mountains near the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The river, draining 58,000 square miles (150,000 sq km) flows 630 miles (1,014 km) west and southwest over desert land to the Colorado River at Yuma, Arizona.
The Gila's chief tributaries are the San Francisco, which it receives near Clifton, Arizona, the San Pedro, the Santa Cruz, the Salt, and the Agua Fria Rivers. Coolidge Dam, built in 1928, on the Gila near Globe, Arizona, is used for irrigation in the Casa Grande Valley. The dam, together with the Roosevelt Dam on the Salt, stores all available surface water, so the Gila River bed is dry and barren for most of its way down to the Colorado. But here in the mountains the Gila is popular with trout fishermen as well as those seeking a wilderness whitewater adventure.
Gila Whitewater Trips
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