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Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
New Mexico


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Trail up Cliff Dweller Canyon

Trail up Cliff Dweller Canyon

The trail to the alcove ruins follows a tiny stream along the base of the cliffs in appropriately named Cliff Dweller Canyon.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Puebloan Mimbres (Mogollon) people built these sturdy stone houses under the cliff overhangs about 700 years ago. In historic times this was a stronghold of the Apaches. This was an isolated spot, then as now, near the headwaters of the Gila River in a jumble of mountain ranges.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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Gila Cliff Dwellings contain 46 rooms

Gila Cliff Dwellings contain 46 rooms

The cliff dwellings here consist of 46 rooms in five alcove caves in the rhyolite cliffs along Cliff Dweller Canyon.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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Stone rooms at Gila Cliff Dwellings

Stone rooms at Gila Cliff Dwellings

Because they are sheltered by the cliff overhangs many of the stone walls survive in excellent condition.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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Interconnected caves at Gila Cliff Dwellings

Interconnected caves at Gila Cliff Dwellings

Several of the alcove caves are interconnected and modern paths have been built between them.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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Blackened cave ceilings at Gila Cliff Dwellings

Blackened cave ceilings at Gila Cliff Dwellings

Cave ceilings have been blackened by fires used for cooking and heating.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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Gila Cliff Dwellings pole ladder is no longer in use

Gila Cliff Dwellings pole ladder is no longer in use

A simple pole ladder that was once used to provide egress from the last cave has been closed.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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Last cave in the row at Gila Cliff Dwellings

Last cave in the row at Gila Cliff Dwellings

The last cave in the row is higher up the cliff than the others and not accessible.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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Switchback trail leaves Cliff Dweller Canyon

Switchback trail leaves Cliff Dweller Canyon

The one mile loop trail continues past the caves then switchbacks down to the river.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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Bridge over the Gila River at Gila Cliff Dwellings

Bridge over the Gila River at Gila Cliff Dwellings

Bridge over the West Fork of the Gila River, beginning and ending of the ruins loop trail.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 12, 2014
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