Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gila Cliff Dwellings, Mimbres Valley, Gila Wilderness

I've been delaying the report of our trip through Mimbres Valley along the Gila, and then on to Gila Cliff Dwellings. It's because it impressed me so deeply; my photos and goofy narration aren't going to get close enough to touch the actual experience.

Instead, I'll show you a snake:

Western diamondback rattler
She remained in place through the entire shoot like a good Ford Agency model.

Luckily I was a passenger through the Mimbres Valley, so I could gawp openly. As the river wandered from the road, or vice versa, I couldn't look away from the green of the tall trees along its bank. I blew out my green-see-buds. 

Unluckily, I was a passenger into the swervy mountain roads. The ride was as smooth as was possible, but I caught passenger seasickness. Just the same, I managed to tumble out of the car at every stop to damn the view with faint praise. "Wow, that's really great!" "Whoo, lookit that!" My camera did its own damning, but I'm gonna show you, anyway.






















The trail to the Gila cliff dwellings and back is Duck-strenuous. Calibrate for your own level of fitness. About a mile round-trip, with a 175' change in elevation. Both ways. Fee is $3 per person. I offered the volunteer $20 to carry me. Some people actually have no price.



















The steps I used.







The ladder I didn't.

We stopped at the petroglyphs on the way out. They rock.














On your way here, or back down, you need to stop at Doc Campbell's Post. Use any means at your disposal to sit on a toilet there. I promise it's not an experience you'll have everywhere.

City of Rocks State Park is a lovely and peaceful experience. Plus snakes.




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22 comments:

SwankieWheels said...

I can't believe you were so close to me and we didn't connect. But I decided to skip the dwellings until I return in the fall when I will have more gas money. I am about at the point of being forced to park until 5/20 but hoped I would be farther east before I reached that point. Going to look at your City of Rocks now. I hope we weren't there at the same time... I might have to wack you.

Maria Brown said...

Wow that's great :-) Seriously, I love exploring cliff dwellings in the southwest, and the more remote the better. I hate when the area is crawling with tourists, also known as other people like me!

JO said...

I love cliff dwellings too. But you sure are running into far to many snakes for me. I'll wait for the colder weather. All the pictures are fabulous.

Al Christensen said...

On my hike up that trail I kept contemplating all the schlepping of stones and mud it took to build the place. Then I marveled that they trusted us to wander around without messing the place up.

Al Christensen said...

On my hike up that trail I kept contemplating all the schlepping of stones and mud it took to build the place. Then I marveled that they trusted us to wander around without messing the place up.

Good Luck Duck said...

Swankie, where were you?

Maria, I pretend that I am THE tourist they've been waiting for. Intelligent, asking thoughtful questions never before posed, unlike any visitor they've ever had.

Good Luck Duck said...

Al, I'm afraid I undid a lot of their schlepping just with my style of "hiking," and that's just the trail. Hopefully I didn't ruin the ruins for future generations.

Good Luck Duck said...

Jo, it's just the one snake, and to be fair ... we went looking for it.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Gila Cliff is amazing! Great pictures:) That sure looks like one big snake.

Jodee Gravel said...

Love the clouds over those beautiful views from the highway - that green goes on forever! It's great that the ruins are so accessible, yay stairs, and that a priceless volunteer is there to answer questions and check pockets. The first toilet on my bucket list.......can't wait?

Good Luck Duck said...

Right, Jodee - you wouldn't want to come all this way for pre-Columbian ruins; come for the toilet, stay for the dwellings.

Anneke, it was pretty big!

Karen @ Sock Monkey Trekkers said...

We were there a few weekends ago. Stayed the first night at Faywood Hot springs and the second night at Gila Hot Springs Ranch. Loved the cliff dwellings

Karen @ Sock Monkey Trekkers said...

We were there a few weekends ago. Stayed the first night at Faywood Hot springs and the second night at Gila Hot Springs Ranch. Loved the cliff dwellings

Good Luck Duck said...

Karen, did you use the hot-water toilet at the general store??

Julie Robets said...

If I come now can I just follow yu'll around?? You take such good pictures except for the snake. I don't like them.


I just erased my whole Quack. Don't like snake, like other pictures, take more. If I came now can I follow y'll around. I don't want to get lost. from me






Good Luck Duck said...

Lol, Julie. Yes, you can follow us around. Dude got my attention from a distance, yelling "SNAKE!" I walked that way, but my inner voice asked "You're heading toward a snake?"

Karen @ Sock Monkey Trekkers said...

No, darn it! We have had the pleasure of a hot water toilet at Sand Dunes Swimming Pool (north of Alamosa, Colorado). An amazing experience. LOL

Karen @ Sock Monkey Trekkers said...

No, darn it! We have had the pleasure of a hot water toilet at Sand Dunes Swimming Pool (north of Alamosa, Colorado). An amazing experience. LOL

Bill said...

Beautiful. Would love to visit sometime. Thanks for sharing the great pictures.

Good Luck Duck said...

You will like it so much more in person, Bill.

Starr Loch said...

I am planning to be in NM in late June and want to visit the Dwellings! But they are not on my may, do you have directions, or what's the closest town? I also am going to the Pietown place. Cause, you know, pie. =^..^= (Lynda Garcia)

Good Luck Duck said...

Hi Lynda! Yeah, the dwellings aren't on the way to anywhere. I suggest Googling. We based at City of Rocks State Park, and drove from there. And definitely go to Pie Town!

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