How to get to the Gila Cliff Dwellings…

The drive to the Gila Cliff Dwellings begs it’s own post; it was an experience in itself. We were parked in Silver City, so we decided to take highway 15 to the dwellings since it goes between Silver City and the dwellings, while the alternate 35 is about 8 miles east of S.C., and miles longer. Before we were out of Silver City, we came to a sign that stated that the dwellings were 42 miles ahead, approx. drive time of 2 hours. Wow, they drive slow around here – either that or they assume that you will stop at all the little historical plaques that must line the road. Before long we were surrounded by woods…

and while the road is paved the whole way to the dwellings, it isn’t really even a 2 lane – much of it doesn’t have a line painted down the middle – and I think that it is because there is not room for 2 cars to meet and still stay fully on the road. In a couple of places the road rides a ridge. The road IS the ridge (it drops off on both sides)…
The drive, – well, it took us well over 2 hours…
It took us over 2 hours because the road is constant S-curves and switchbacks combined with sharp climbs and steep grades. The posted speed limit is 55, but I’m not sure that we ever got over 20! LOL!!! Despite the slow speed, I was feeling pretty green by the time that we got to the dwellings. and I do NOT get car sick! :)
It sure was a beautiful drive!

There is a lovely stream that runs along the valley floor; the scenery along the drive is breathtaking! And just to our taste – we have been missing the forest – forests with real trees :)
On the way out from the Cliff Dwellings, we took another route –

you backtrack on 15 for a few miles, and then it splits, and you can take 35 out (or in for that matter). Highway 35 is still a bit curvy and has it’s ‘mountain trail’ moments! We met a trail ride magazine truck and trailer on our way out (he was on his way in) – he was pretty White-Knuckled!LOL!

On this road are a few national forest campground .that would be great places to stop and spend a few days.
It slowly gets more populated, and we drove by this place –
Eli said it would be OK if we lived here – great address and must be great neighbors! LOL!
We came across some wild turkeys…

The drive on the way out took just as long, though we were able to drive much faster, and no-one got car sick!
We went back toWallyWorld, picked up our 5er, and we were on the road again…

Destination, a wonderfully fun Arizona State Park – Roper Lake!

Lilla Rose

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  1. Dana, Is your family really heading for AZ? Our family is in Phoenix right now and would love to meet you and your wonderful family if you make it this way.

  2. Hi Jana!
    Phoenix is our home away from home! LOL!!!
    We have family just south of Phx that we invade a couple of times a winter. We are here now helping them with some landscaping (the guys are installing a sprinkler sys today), and Hannah always flys out of Phx Gateway to go home for ortho appts., which is where she is this week.
    Email me, and we will see if we can work something out – we love to meet other FOTR families!!!
    dana :)

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