Backpacking through the mountains of New Mexico is no easy task, but some areas are more rewarding than others. If you are in the state then the Gila Forest is a highly recommended beautiful location worth visiting. Those who are fit enough to traverse the cat walk and then hike a few miles may be rewarded with beautiful flowing waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and strikingly breathtaking landscapes.
The Gila Cliff Dwellings are located in southwestern New Mexico, where the Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert meet. The cliff dwellings are a perfect mixture of the mountain environment of New Mexico as well as the hot desert land. Gila has the most publicly owned land outside of Alaska, and contains millions of acres of wilderness. This area is a nature lovers dream come true and is a must see.
What To Do At Gila Forest
The first thing on anyone’s list should be to visit the spacious cave dwellings, where the Mogollons once lived and built their cave homes from sandstone. It is an incredible experience, and you can walk through the different rooms and explore each one. It is recommended to take the time and try to put yourself in the place of those who once inhabited the area. These dwellings are hundreds of years old, and the wood inside the dwellings were dated back to the early 1200s.
The most exciting thing in the area is the Gila Cat Walk. This trail is very sturdy and takes you through a small portion of the magnificent Gila forest. It is a moderate hike and considered safe for most people. Very heavy people should not attempt walking the cat walk. Some areas are suspended high above a canyon and may be frightening for some individuals. The experience is one to remember though, and a breathtaking view is available just a few miles into the hike. The bridges are made of steel, but others are made of wood. The last bridge is quite rickety and sways over a chasm that may frighten most people.
Exploring the Rustic Area
If you don’t want to camp in the area then consider staying in Silver City. It is the nearest city with hotels, and you better believe there are no 4 star hotels here. If you can’t tolerate the wilderness for too long then Silver City is your best bet.