On my recent photo trip to the Southwest I made a point of including, among my subjects, sites of Ancestral Puebloans. Several years ago I began visiting and photographing ruins, pictographs, and petroglyphs in the Cedar Mesa region of southern Utah. Finding these sites to be very intriguing and educational I wanted to explore more of them on future trips. On this latest excursion, my first stop was Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in western New Mexico.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument #57023
Gila Cliff Dwellings, situated in a valley close to the Gila River, was home to the Mogollon people around 1200 AD and was thought to be inhabited until the early 1300’s. Like most of the ancestral ruins on and near the Colorado Plateau, the inhabitants mysteriously decided to abandon their homes and villages near the end of the thirteenth century. Within the boundary of the monument there are many preserved sites, but the main dwellings, which can be visited on a short hike, consisted of around 46 rooms situated among 5 cliff caves. The site can be visited in around an hour but it would be a shame to drive this far without making it a leisurely visit. At the main cliff caves a very knowledgeable ranger is stationed to answer all your questions and explain in detail the history of the Mogollon people.
If you decide to visit the monument be aware that it is a long drive from Siver City New Mexico, the nearest town. The distance is only 44 miles but the road follows a winding up and down route through the mountains, making the time traveled from Silver City around two hours. The monument has some primitive camping available, and there are also a few national forest sites nearby, along with some natural hot springs.
All of the new images from my recent Southwest trip are now online and ready for viewing and downloading. A selection of 100 images from a total of over 1000 have been added to my New Images Portfolio. To view even more from any of the locations listed below you can use our Search feature or contact us for a custom portfolio.
States: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Utah
National Parks and Monuments:Carrizo Plains National Monument CA, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument NM, White Sands National Monument NM, Carlsbad Caverns National Park NM, Guadalupe National Park TX, Chaco Culture National Historical Park NM, Aztec Ruins National Monument NM, Canyon de Chelly National Monument AZ, Hovenweep National Monument UT, Mesa Verde National Park CO, Canyonlands National Park UT, Arches National Park UT
State Parks, Recreation Areas, Wilderness Areas: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park CA, Kofa Mountains Wildlife Refuge AZ, Lost Dutchman State Park/Superstition Mountains AZ, Angel Peak Scenic Area NM, Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness NM, Valley Of The Gods Utah
Wildflowers, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California #56856
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Arizona #35416
I’m very excited to announce that on Monday, March 7 I will be leaving for an extended trip to the Southwest. As usual for spring trips, the main subject matter will be centered around desert wildflowers. This tour will encompass many new locations, as well as several others that I have visited in the past. Listed below are the main areas and subjects I will be photographing. It’s a long list, and I’m hoping that 4-5 weeks on the road will enable me to cover everything. However, weather and time constraints force me to forego some subjects.