We stayed in an RV Park several miles out of Silver City while in the area to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings. We happened to be in the area the same weekend as a Blues Festival, so all the parks in town were full. We stayed at the Burro Mountain Homestead which was at the end of a 7 mile dirt road, but we were so happy to see how beautiful the area and the park were. We were at about 6,500ft there, so it was cool where we’d been in hot weather for a few months. Here’s my Yelp review of this park: click here
We hadn’t been parked for more than an hour when 3 deer wandered past our home, just a couple feet from our big window. Laddy was quivering with excitement at being so close, but he didn’t make a sound so they grazed for a few minutes before moving on. Good boy!
We stayed in the southwestern area of NM for a few days so we could visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. WOW! They built some impressive structures in some large natural caves, what impressed me most was the fact that they were high up on some vertical cliffs. There was a stream at the bottom of the cliffs and lots of useful plants for the natives to use, including lots of wild grapes that we could see where starting to grow (late May). The cliff dwellings were not inhabited for very long, maybe about 70 years, and carbon dating of some items left indicate they inhabited the caves around 1200AD. A ranger said that the theory is that they also didn’t inhabit it full-time for those years as there wasn’t as much ‘trash’ or as many dead bodies as would be expected from about 70 years of full-time life. These cliff dwellings could have been a summer home or possibly a ‘refuge’ in case of emergency.
We hiked the 1-mile loop that took us along the stream through the trees and then up about 175 feet to the dwellings themselves. We were able to walk through a few which was great! The area is at about 5,900ft so the hike and the incline felt strenuous to us sea-level folks!