Cliff Dwellers Canyon is situated behind Gallup’s prominent White Cliffs, which are north of I-40 on the east side of town. When it’s not wet, you can park a regular passenger car on the west side Superman Canyon Road. (When it’s wet, you might sink to the axles, so be careful.) While there’s not a formal trail — it doesn’t look like anyone else comes out here at all really — there are paths stomped down by cattle and other beasts of the field. These can be helpful with so many sheer drainages around waiting to swallow you up.
Petroglyphs can be found along the south-facing walls all the way to where the canyon pinches a couple miles back. Remember these things are ancient: Please look with your eyes and not with your hands!
In addition to the glyphs, keep an eye out for other human modifications — namely old climbing bolts. There are a few short routes and boulder problems at the mouth of the canyon. It’s brittle climbing that should be avoided altogether if there’s been precipitation within a few days of your visit.
- A Jaunt Up Cliff Dwellers Canyon (Farther Still)
- Ancient Pueblo peoples (Wikipedia)
- Gallup Area (Mountain Project)