Every time we drive through New Mexico, I see signs and billboards advertising the Gila Cliff Dwellings in the nearby national park. We have never before had the opportunity to visit until last week. It was about two hours from where we were staying in Silver City, NM. The road was narrow and winding, up and down through the mountains, but so beautiful.
The elevation was quite high as we passed through the mountains!
Finally, we arrived at the cliff dwellings.
The cliff dwellings are estimated to be about 700 years old, easily the oldest standing structures in the United States of America.
Built in natural caves along the Gila River, the dwellings are made with rocks smoothed over with adobe mud.
Inside one of the living areas was an ancient basket and some corn cobs.
Our whole family at the cliff dwellings.
On the bridge in the park
Climbing the steps to the dwellings
This was one of the most interesting national parks I have ever personally visited. It was a short hike to the dwellings, but it was worth it! The kids loved it, and said it was one of the neatest things we have done in a while. If you ever get out this way, you definitely need to plan a visit to see the cliff dwellings.
The kids were also able to participate in the Junior Ranger program, in which they completed several specific activities, and were accordingly sworn in as Junior Rangers and given a badge and certificate!
The swearing in ceremony
(I’m not sure what part of “raise your right hand” some of my kids did not understand) ha!
The four newest Junior Rangers with their badges and certificates
On the way home, we could plainly see the smoke from the forest fires that are sweeping across New Mexico. The state is in the midst of a ten-year drought, and things are so dry!
What is your favorite national park or historical site?