Trip meter 0 miles
Silver City, NM
December 02, 2012
What a GREAT day! We have been looking forward to going to the ancient dwellings of the Mogollon people of Gila River valley, and today was perfect for the trip. The skies were clear,
And the projected high for today was the upper 60's. The road from Silver City is only 42 miles, but the guide told us to allow 2 hours to get there. Two Hours? As it turns out they were not that far off. The road is paved, but it is steep and winding, going from two lanes with no shoulder to 1-1/2 lanes with no shoulder. The vistas were amazing! We climbed from 5900 feet at Silver City to 7080 feet at the continental divide.
We stopped in at the visitor's center where we watched a video that gave the background of the people and dwellings. The experts believe that the cliff dwellings were only occupied for a 20 year period from 1270 to 1290. No explanation as to why they left, or why the dwellings were not occupied by others afterward.
The site is accessed by a half mile trail that begins at the bottom of the canyon where a small creek flows, and winds up switchbacks to the cave level. Here is a picture taken from the trail below.
On our way out of the canyon we stopped to look at a rock painted with pictograms.
We are off to Las Cruces and White Sands tomorrow.