Friday, July 2, 2010

Monticello Canyon/Gila Cliff Dwellings Weekend

Myself along with 12 other families from the Military Jeepers Fourm (West TX/Southern NM Chapter) set out for a weekend trip to Monticello Canyon (NW of T or C, NM) and the Gila Cliff Dwellings. We all meet up at a rest area on I-25, introductions were made, bathroom breaks done and a quick plan was made and we were off.
After a stop in T or C for gas it was off to Monticello.

The road through Monticello Canyon is a county rd, however what makes it such a popular trail are the countless river crossings and the spectacular scenery throught the canyon.

The canyon is mostly private property on both sides of the road.

The first of several river crossings. Some crossings are short 10-15 feet, some, the river actually becomes the road. Most all crossings are only 1-1 1/2 feet deep, however still makes for a fun drive.

We finally found a wide spot in the road, with the river to the side, to stop for lunch. The kids had a great time playing in the water and the adults cooled their feet in the moderate flow.

Everyone came prepared for 100+ temps, however we were blessed with a cloudy day and temps only in the 70s.

After an hour or so lunch stop and rounding up all the kids and adults, it was back on the trail. The farther down the canyon you get the narrower the walls become and the more creek driving you do.

The end of the canyon is known as the Monticello Box, here it is nothing but water and walls, before the canyon abruptly ends and opens to wide meadows.

In the Box there is a large slab of rock which had fallen from the face above and makes for a great place to pose with your rig. We all took turns and then headed out.

Once outside the Box we stopped to let the kids play and run off their pent up energy. This is also where the Indian Chief Geronimo supposedly surrendered to the U.S. Calvery, however depending on which history book/articale you read it, could have been several places. We said our goodbyes as most of the group was headed home, while 6 of us headed for the Gila National Forest for a weekend of camping and exploring.

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