Inside Gila National Forest are many interesting things to see. There are cliff dwellings, the catwalk, the Santa Rosa mine, among others. Its a beautiful mountainous area and worth a visit.
This is me walking down the trail after visiting the cliff dwellings. It’s a little out of order 🙂
Santa Rosa strip mining operation. You can see how big it is by comparing it to the car on the road.
It was unbelievably huge. It swallowed the entire town and they plan to fill it in once the mining is finished.
This is where we started the walking part of our explorations.
Bob by a little house we passed on the trail. It’s a tiny room made up of the wedge in the rock. The door only goes to Bob’s hip. This place is very tiny compared the dwellings in the pictures to come. Maybe it was a hunter’s outpost, or something.
The view from the little house.
Petroglyphs. There were walls of them. They’re faded, but they were everywhere.
I liked this little guy.
View from the beginning of the trail that leads to the more substantive Gila cliff dwellings.
The dwellings are in this rock around the corner on the left
Entrances to the dwellings
More entrances. There were 7 caves of dwellings here. If you click on the picture, you’ll be able to see the structures inside the caves.
Steps to the dwellings. Mostly, the path was uneven and rocky.
Some of the dwellins. Many have T shaped doors.
No one knows why the doors are T shaped.
This is the same picture as the one above, but this one gives you an idea of how big it all is.
Smokehouse? Storage? 2 story house? Who knows? I can’t imagine living, sleeping, and raising kids in such a precariously placed home. It’s rock solid, but one slip and fall and you have a big problem.
Bob looking over the wall. These dwellings originally had roofs, even inside the cave.
Lots of the dwellings rely on ladders to get around.
Another of the ladders. These were provided by the Park Service, but the Indians who lived her would have had their own.
Another view of the dwellings.
The view from the cliff dwellings.
The road to the dwellings is curvy and full of switchbacks and other driving challenges. This view gives you an idea of just how curvy. At times, even going 20 m.p.h. felt too fast. It was like a fun house ride.