Loading...

Silver City

Home/Experience/Silver City
Silver City 2017-04-05T01:14:19+00:00

Experience Silver City and Surrounding Area
Places Worth Experiencing

Bear Canyon Reservoir and Wildlife Area: The centerpiece of Bear Canyon Wildlife area is Bear Canyon Reservoir, a 25-acre lake in Grant County. Site consists of 75 acres. The elevation is 6000 feet and the lake is surrounded by pinon, juniper, and oak vegetation.

  • Location: Access is via Highway 35, northeast of Silver City, 30 mile drive one way
  • Time Needed: 3-4 hours (45 minute driving time to location, desired time there, plus 45 minute return trip to Silver City) Depends on anticipated activities on-location.
  • Activities: Wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, geocaching, camping, and fishing
  • Cost: Fishermen must have appropriate licenses and permits. Wildlife viewers, photographers, hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders must have a valid license or permit. See the Department’s website www.wildlife.state.nm.us for more information
  • Accessibility: Can drive to lakeside

Bill Evans Lake and Wildlife Area: This lake is a 62-acre lake situated between Cliff and Silver City in the Gila area, with a total of 300 acres for recreation. Bill Evans is unique in that it is situated on top of a mesa, 300 feet above the Gila River.

  • Location: Via US-180 West from Silver City, 30 miles west of Silver City
  • Time Needed: 3-4 hours (40 minute drive to location, 2 hours on location depending on activities desired, 40 minute return drive)
  • Activities: Wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, and fishing
  • Cost: Fishermen must have appropriate licenses and permits. Wildlife viewers, photographers, hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders must have a valid license or permit. See the Department’s website www.wildlife.state.nm.us for more information
  • Accessibility: Can drive to lakeside

Billy the Kid Cabin: In the early 1870’s, Catherine McCarty moved her sons from Santa Fe to Silver City, where they lived until her death of tuberculosis in 1874. One year after her death, her oldest son, Henry McCarty, was arrested for the first time. McCarty soon became a fugitive known best as Billy the Kid. The Billy the Kid Home-site, a replica cabin located at the site where Billy and his mother lived, can still be visited.

  • Location: At the Murray Ryan Visitor Center, located on the Corner of Broadway and Bullard in Historic Downtown Silver City
  • Time Needed: 30 minutes
  • Activities: Photography
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: wheelchair accessible

Boston Hill Hiking Trails: Part of the Town’s Trails and Open Spaces initiative, the Boston Hill trail system has been transformed into a hiking destination, and Silver City’s largest green-break. The Boston Hill Trail system includes the La Capilla Heritage Park and several former mining sites. Boston Hill offers visitors a spectacular view of Silver City and Grant County from an elevation of 6,380 feet above sea level.

  • Location: Southwest end of Silver City, the Boston Hill trails are accessible from Cooper Street, Cheyenne Street, Spring Street and Market Street.
  • Time Needed: 1-2 hours, Depending on desired activities.
  • Activities: Wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, bicycling, geocaching
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: Parking available at trailheads, hikes vary from level ground to moderately rugged inclines
    • Website: http://www.townofsilvercity.org/r/town_of_silver_city_NM.php?r=2,q2ujz

Chino Copper Mine Lookout (Santa Rita Observation Point): This overlook is of one of the world’s largest open pit mines. The Chino open-pit mine’s overlook is a breathtaking view of copper mining. Originally mined by Native Americans and later by Spaniards, the open-pit mine began production in 1910 and continues operations today. Visitors may see 360 ton, 3 stories high haul trucks as ore is transported. Wildlife may be seen on the drive to and from the location.

  • Location: Via US-180 to NM152, mile post 6 (17 miles from Silver City)
  • Time Needed: 1 ½ hours (30 minute drive to location, 30 minutes on location, 30 minute return drive to Silver City)
  • Activities: Photography, geocaching
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: Drive right to location overlook
  • Website: http://www.fcx.com/operations/USA_NewMexico_Chino.htm

City of Rocks State Park: The City of Rocks earned its name from the volcanic rock formations that have created rock columns resembling buildings. The rocks rise as high as 40 feet, and are separated by paths resembling city streets. The park is located in the scenic Chihuahan Desert of southwest New Mexico.

  • Location: Access via Highway 180 East. Located roughly halfway between Silver City and Deming off Highway 61, 32 miles from town
  • Time Needed: 3-4 hours (45 minutes one way, 1-2 hours at location, 45 minutes back) depending on desired activities
  • Activities: Camping, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, birding, stargazing, picnicking, geocaching on way, desert botanical garden
  • Cost: $5 per vehicle, no charge for walk-in/bicycle
  • Accessibility: Paved road to and circling site, some picnic sites gravel and accessible
  • Website: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/cityofrocksstatepark.html
  • Hours: Open 7 am to 9 pm, plus overnight camping

Continental Divide Trail: The Continental Divide Trail is known as one of the most significant trail systems in the world. It spans 3,100 miles between Mexico and Canada and traverses five states across the United States, including an estimated 775 miles in New Mexico. The Burro Mountain section of the Trail is characterized by breathtaking long-distance views and a diversity of desert-woodland flora and fauna.

  • Location: The Burro Peak Trailhead is located 21 miles from Silver City on NM 90 to Forest Road 828. Follow FR 828 to the trailhead. Also accessible from C-Bar Ranch Road, Little Walnut Road, or the cross at NM 15. For more information on how to access the trail, visit the CDT website listed below.
  • Time Needed: 2-3 hours (30 minutes one way, 1-2 hours at location, 30 minutes back) depending on desired activities
  • Activities: camping, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, birding, stargazing, picnicking
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: Difficulty of terrain varies, trailheads often accessible by vehicle.
  • Website: http://continentaldividetrail.org/project/burro-mountains-gila-national-forest-new-mexico/

Fort Bayard National Historical Site: Fort Bayard was established in 1866 as an Army installation to protect settlers along the Apache Trail. The site has been a Military Reservation, a tuberculosis hospital and research center, housed German prisoners of war during World War II, and most recently Fort Bayard Medical Center. The site includes a monument to the Buffalo Soldiers and Fort Bayard National Cemetery, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2004. Many of the officer houses remain. Back roads of area gain access to the Fort Bayard National Cemetery and wildlife viewing area where often elk and deer can be seen.

  • Location: 0.5 miles north of the intersection of US 180 and New Mexico state route 152, about 8 miles east of Silver City
  • Time Needed: 1-2 hours. Depending on desired activities (15 minutes one way)
  • Activities: Hiking, cycling, horseback riding, geocaching, wildlife viewing, Museum
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: Roads paved through village, dirt roads and trailheads, trails vary in difficulty
  • Tours Available: April – October every Saturday morning, private tours available
  • Website: https://www.fortbayard.org/

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and Gila Hot Springs: The Gila Cliff Dwellings offer a glimpse into the history of the Tularosa Mogollon. Groups of nomadic people traveled along the Gila River for thousands of years, using the existing caves as shelter. In the 1200’s, a group settled in the Cliff Dwellings, building shelters and, after moving on, left hints of how they lived in the caves. There are also several hot springs in the area within walking distance of the Visitor Center.

  • Location: Access via Highway 15, 43 miles north of Silver City at mile marker 43. Large RVs and vehicles pulling trailers should take Highway 180 to Santa Clara, turn left onto Highway 152 to San Lorenzo, turn left onto Highway 35 and follow it until it ends on Highway 15, then follow the signs to the park.
  • Time Needed: 6-7 hours (drive to and from Silver City to trail head … 2 hours one way, 1-2 hours on location, 2 hour return drive)
  • Activities: Wildlife viewing, bird watching, photography, hiking, interpretive programs, backpacking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, hot springs
  • Cost: -$5 entrance fee, National Parks Pass holders and children under 16 are free
  • Accessibility: Hike uneven ground, climb in elevation, the Visitor Center and part of the “Trail to the Past” are wheelchair accessible
  • Website: https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm

Glenwood Cat Walk: Located in the beautiful wilderness of the Mogollon Mountains, the Catwalk was originally built for miners to maintain the pipeline that traversed the canyon during the gold mining era in Whitewater Canyon. In the 1930’s the original trail was built following the path of the old pipeline. The trail offers a unique experience as visitors travel the canyon on rocky paths and narrow bridges alike.

  • Location: Access via Highway 180 West to Glenwood, then NM-174 to the Recreation Area.
  • Time Needed: 3-4 hours (drive to and from Silver City to Recreation Area … 1 hour 15 minutes one way, 1-2 hours on location, 1 hour 15 minutes return drive)
  • Activities: Fishing, Hiking, Picnicking, Backpacking
  • Cost: $3 per vehicle, America the Beautiful Passes are honored.
  • Accessibility: Paved parking lot and accessible picnic area, first .5 miles of trail are easily hiked by all ages
  • Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gila/recarea/?recid=2029

Lake Roberts: Beautiful, peaceful lake situated in the Upper Mimbres Valley, within the Gila National Forest, surrounded by Ponderosa and Pinon Pine trees. The lake, at its capacity, covers about 69 acres.

  • Location: Intersection of HWY 35 and HWY 15. Easier drive US-180, to NM 152, to NM35, through beautiful, scenic Mimbres Valley (50 miles, but 1 hour driving time one way). A mountainous drive, with many switchbacks, and steep terrain through the mountains, would be on NM15 to NM35 (30 miles, but 1 hour driving time one way) Suggestion: Make a loop with the drive.
  • Time Needed: 4 hours (1 hour drive to location, 2 hours on location depending on activities desired, 1 hour return drive)
  • Activities: Wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, and fishing
  • Cost: $7 overnight user fees, fishermen must have appropriate licenses and permits. Wildlife viewers, photographers, hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders must have a valid license or permit. See the Department’s website www.wildlife.state.nm.us for more information
  • Accessibility: Can drive to lakeside
  • Website: http://www.gilawilderness.com/sportspg/lakeroberts.htm

Little Walnut Picnic Grounds: The Little Walnut-Gomez Peak picnic areas are an easy escape into the beauty of the Gila Wilderness. Located just outside of Silver City, Little Walnut offers a pleasant day use, and the area is generally open during daylight hours in the spring, summer and fall.

  • Location: Located roughly five miles north from the center of Silver City on Little Walnut Road
  • Time Needed: 1-2 hours, depending on desired activities (15 minutes one way)
  • Activities: Wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, geocaching, Group Facility available
  • Cost: $-0- for individual use. Group sites are available starting at $20 per day depending on the site.
  • Accessibility: Paved and/or dirt parking, some group patios are connected to pavement via sidewalks and are handicapped accessible. Trails vary in difficulty.
  • Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gila/recarea/?recid=9920

Mimbres Culture Heritage Site: Visit the Mattocks Ruin and experience what life was like 1,000 years ago in this region. This historic location is an educational site where visitors can experience the Mattocks Ruins, view the Wood and Gooch Houses, and the land itself. The Mattocks site is uniquely accessible, lying off a main road, helping it to become a center of extensive research for nearly 100 years. Thus archaeologists from all over the world have studied the ruins. The history is rich in this location.

  • Location: Take NM HWY 152, to NM HWY 25 (Mimbres Valley) and site is located near mile post 4
  • Time Needed: 3-4 hours (drive to and from Silver City to ruins… 45 minutes one way, 1-2 hours on location, 45 minute return drive)
  • Activities: View historic location
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: easy access
  • Website: http://www.mimbrescultureheritagesite.org/
  • Hours: Open to the public daily from 11-3 (Friday through Sunday from November through May)

Mogollon Ghost Town: Mogollon is one of New Mexico’s premier ghost towns. Set in the beautiful Mogollon Mountains near Silver Creek Canyon, this historic mining town was built in 1897. Mogollon has seen a fair share of fires and floods, but despite these catastrophes, kept coming back as a prosperous silver and gold ore mine until years after World War II.

  • Location: Access from Highway 180 to NM 159
  • Time Needed: 5-6 hours (1 ½ to 2 hours one way, 1-2 hours on location, 1 ½ to 2 hours back) depending on desired activities
  • Activities: Wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, and fishing (Whitewater campsite)
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: Includes tight, winding roads, dirt and gravel to access wilderness beyond Mogollon
  • Website: http://rozylowicz.com/retirement/mogollon/mogollon.html

Pinos Altos Historical Town: Pinos Altos is a thriving mining ghost town situated at the southern border of the Gila National Forest. The town is nestled among the pines and surrounded by creeks, mountain paths, and a rich history. The Continental Divide Trail crosses Highway 15 just 2 miles north of Pinos Altos. Drive or walk the some of the streets of this historic community and visit the Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House as well as the historic Hearst Church.

  • Location: Access via Highway 15, just 7 miles north of Silver City
  • Time Needed: 1-2 hours, depending on desired activities
  • Activities: Walking historic main street and visiting Hearst Church and old saloon/opera house. Wildlife viewing, historical location for dining, photography, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding in the surrounding wilderness. Local amenities include shops, cabins, and the Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible
  • Website: http://www.pinosaltos.org/

Silver City Big Ditch: The Big Ditch was formed in 1895 when a wall of water flooded the downtown business district on what used to be known as Main Street. The result is a ditch 55 feet lower than the original street level. The Big Ditch now offers a park and casual walk along the creek.

  • Location: Access from near the Silver City Tourism and Visitor Center on the corner of Broadway and Hudson. The Big Ditch runs parallel to Bullard Street, the main road in Downtown Silver City.
  • Time Needed: 1-2 hours depending on desired activities
  • Activities: Walking, picnicking, photography, geocaching
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: Parking available above the Ditch, steep stone staircase to reach the lower level, easily hiked by all ages

Silver City Museum: Opened in 1967, the Silver City Museum is the home of some 20,000 objects relating to the peoples and history of southwest New Mexico. The Museum creates opportunities for residents and visitors alike to explore the diverse culture and unique history. In addition to its exhibits, the Museum hosts frequent events to educate and entertain visitors.

  • Location: 312 West Broadway Street, The Museum is located 4 blocks west of the Silver City Visitor Center in Historic Downtown Silver City
  • Time Needed: 1-2 hours
  • Activities: Educational exhibits, occasional crafts and presentations, free self-guided Tour Pocket Guides for surrounding neighborhoods are available
  • Cost: $3 per person suggested donation
  • Accessibility: wheelchair assessable to most of the museum and grounds
  • Website: http://www.silvercitymuseum.org/index.html
  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9 – 4:30, Saturday – Sunday 10 – 4

WNMU Museum: The WNMU Museum features Mimbreno and other Southwestern Cultural ceramics, artifacts, and culture. The museum features 100+ years of campus history and a gift shop.

  • Location: Temporarily Housed in Watts Hall near the Corner of Swan Street and Highway 180 in Silver City
  • Time Needed: 1-2 hours
  • Activities: Educational exhibits and Museum Shop
  • Cost: $-0-
  • Accessibility: wheelchair accessible
  • Website: http://museum.wnmu.edu/
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 10 – 4, closed weekends and holidays

SUGGESTED DAY TRIPS:

Trip Option 1: Enjoy a day experiencing Indian heritage and beautiful views of the Gila. Start on US HWY 180 to Fort Bayard Historical Site (drive through historic grounds), proceed to NM152 to the Santa Rita Open Pit mine lookout, continue on NM152 to Mimbres Valley and turn on NM35, go to mile post 4 to tour the Mimbres Historical Site, proceed on NM35 north to NM15, viewing Bill Evans Lake and Lake Roberts on the journey and turn to go to Gila Cliff Dwellings. Enjoy hike through the beautiful Gila Cliff Dwellings. Return on NM15 and proceed to historic Pinos Altos, through steep mountains and many switchbacks, then end back in Silver City. This is a loop and will take all day to complete, especially depending on how long each place is visited.

Trip Option 2: Enjoy a day exploring the old west and beautiful scenery of the Gila. Proceed west of Silver City on US HWY 180 toward Cliff, NM. May choose to stop and see Bill Evans lake on the way, then proceed to Mogollon Ghost town, where NM159 will interest US180. After visiting Mogollon Ghost town, proceed back to US180 and proceed to Glenwood Cat Walk. Hike the beautiful trail up the box canyon where the Cat Walk is located. Enjoy a picnic before return home, back to Silver City.