Things to do in the area 2018-02-06T23:44:01+00:00

Experience the Gila and all Grant County has to offer:

The convention center is centrally located in Grant County, New Mexico, offering access to many exciting experiences.

Here are 11 special experiences for you! The rest await your discovery.

  1. Silver City-Enjoy over thirty galleries and art studies, many restaurants, and unique local businesses
  2. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument-Step back in time when taking a short hike through cave dwellings from the late 1200’s
  3. Gila National Forest-With over 3.3 million acres of pristine forest, hike, ride, bike, explore, view wildlife, camp, fish, raft, hunt, and simply enjoy
  4. Catwalk National Scenic Trail-View unique geological formations, a scenic picnic area, and walking trail along a historic 1890’s mining waterway
  5. City of Rocks State Park-Explore incredible volcanic rock formations from 34.9 million years ago
  6. Continental Divide Trail-Step onto the trail near Silver City, which serves as the official “First Gateway Community,” and experience a living museum of the American West
  7. Historic Ghost Towns-Travel back in time by visiting Pinos Altos, Mogollon, Fort Bayard and others
  8. Historic Mining District and Area Museums– Partake in tours and self-guided journeys in the area and visit museums steeped in history
  9. Home Western New Mexico University-Established in 1893, attend cultural happenings and visit the WNMU museum housing the largest permanent collection of Mimbres pottery
  10. Festivals, concerts, and events-Year-round attractions for all interests to be experienced
  11. Tour of the Gila-Come watch in the spring one of the top, premiere, world-class professional cycling 5-stage road races in North America

Here Are Some Area Attractions Listed in Alphabetical Order 

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 the 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
  • Hours: Open 7 am to 9 pm, plus overnight camping
  • Click Here for more information

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.
  • Click Here for more information

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
  • Click Here for more information

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
  • Click Here for more information

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
  • Click Here for more information

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 HWY35 and HWY15. Easier drive US-180, to NM152, 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 Click Here for more information
  • Accessibility: Can drive to lakeside
  • Click Here for more information

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
  • Hours: Open to the public daily from 11-3 (Friday through Sunday from November through May)
  • Click Here for more information

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
  • Click Here for more information

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 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
  • Click Here for more information

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
  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9 – 4:30, Saturday – Sunday 10 – 4
  • Click Here for more information

Other Places to See 

Silver City Visitor’s Center ♦

Bear Canyon Reservoir and Wildlife Area ♦

Bill Evans Lake and Wildlife Area ♦

Boston Hill Hiking Trails ♦

Little Walnut Picnic Grounds ♦

Silver City Big Ditch ♦

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 intersect 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.

Feel free to contact the Silver City Visitor’s Center for more information or go to www.visitsilvercity.org