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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Trail to the Past, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

We almost missed the Trail to the Past.  After doing the hike to the main ruins, the kids were ready for lunch.  We drove to the Gila River and had a nice couple of hours splashing and playing in the river, catching tadpoles, and eating food.  If you're at Gila Cliff Dwellings in the warmer months, be sure to take time to play in the river.  We had a great time.  After lunch was over and we packed the kids back in the car, we almost drove back to our campsite for the rest of the day.  We decided that we were only here once, so we might as well go back and see this trail.  I'm glad we did.  The Trail to the Past leads to a much smaller ruin, as well as some pictographs.  Sometimes there are rattlesnakes in the ruin, so please be careful! 
The ruin is smaller, but it's a lot more fun because it's unsupervised by park personnel, and there's not a huge cliff nearby to make moms nervous.  We checked out the 2-3 rooms of the ruin, then went to the other end of the trail to see the pictographs.  Definitely worth it. 
There is a fairly extensive panel with lots of people and other creatures.  Is this Bigfoot?  If so, it's definitely a HE! 

 Lots of pictures and paintings, some of them quite high up.  The Trail to the Past is one of the overlooked trails at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, but it's very worthwhile, and being only 1/4 mile, the kids like it too. 

Nearest City:
Location: N° W°
Time Needed: 30 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Kid Friendly: Yes, but make sure to watch for snakes!
Additional Info:

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