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Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

We were in NM by this time, camping (well, living, really…you can’t call what we do ‘camping’) in the NF northeast of Silver City. So before we left the area, we drove up NM 15 to see Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. NM 15 is basically hairpin turn after hairpin turn. Much of the time, I was in first gear doing 15-20 MPH, so it takes a long time to drive to the monument. It’s worth it, though, and I highly recommend seeing it. 

After paying a modest fee of $5, you can hike a mere half-mile up to the caves where these dwellings were built. They let you walk right through the caves and see the ruins close-up, which is educational. As a tourist, I love things that are educational.

This is the little creek flowing at the bottom of the gorge which the cliff dwellings overlook, and you cross it many times on the trail up to the caves.

As you see, the photo is still grainy...I had not discovered my ISO setting yet, and so, spoiled all the pictures of Gila Cliff Dwellings NM as well as the Chiricahua ones. 

Here are the caves in which the dwellings are built

In case you have temporarily lost your mind and think that these lovely stairs disappearing into the gloom of the cave might have been used by its ancient residents, no, they are a modern addition by the Dept. of the Interior to enable us tourists to climb up into the ruins.  

I didn't take any photos inside the caves because the lighting was poor and I had no outboard flash...I figured none of them would come out anyway. This, however, is the view that the residents had from their dwellings.