My Adventure Story
Day 4 we drove through the Gila National Forest to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Along the way we stopped briefly in the town of Pinos Altos and decided we would revisit the town another day as we wanted to get to the cliff dwellings. The route to the cliff dwellings is known as the Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway. It is truly scenic and spiritual. The cliff dwellings were inhabited by a prehistoric people now referred to as the Mogollon Culture. These people had no hiking paths to the cliff dwellings and literally scaled the walls of the canyon to get to the dwellings. All food was either grown or hunted at the bottom of the canyon where the water is, so everything had to be carried up the walls of the canyon. The loop trail to the dwellings is a mile long and has an elevation change of about 175ft. Years after the Mogollon Culture had moved on the Apache moved into the area known as the head waters of the Gila river and is known as the birthplace of Geronimo. This area is the center of the lands of the Chiricahua Apache.