Silver City is a quirky cultural town of just over 10,000 people. This gem in Southwest New Mexico features forest recreation, a vibrant historic downtown, art community, and dozens of festivals and events.

Nestled against the 3.3 million-acre Gila National Forest, Silver City offers a wide array of outdoor activities just outside the town’s limit. You’ll find hundreds of miles of trails for hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers and motor sports. There is also additional opportunity to explore ancient cliff dwellings, fish for trout or smallmouth bass in the Gila River, cruise scenic byways and visit several recreation areas.

Backcountry hiking options are numerous near Silver City and range from tranquil walks to challenging treks. The Gila National Wilderness’s trails will lead you from the edge of the Chihuahuan desert to the brink of alpine tundra through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Southwest.

There is also the chance to hike the southern-most part of the Continental Divide Trail that covers 3000 miles from Montana’s Canadian border to Mexico. The Divide follows the ridge from which water flows either west to the Pacific or east to the Atlantic. Pass through rugged, forested mountains and one of our country’s most spectacular Wilderness Areas, the Aldo Leopold, the first area designated as wilderness by Congress. 

Enthusiasts have the opportunity to travel the Trail of the Mountain Spirits which traces the steps taken by miners, homesteaders, explorers and mountain men. Along the way, experience the Gila River, walk among ancient ruins, and cross the Continental Divide.

Take a step back in history when you visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Here you’ll get a glimpse of the Mogollon Indian culture through homes built in natural caves and in the open that provide a look back to what life was like in the late 1200s. 

Additional outdoor attractions include the Catwalk Recreation Area that provides a unique view above Whitewater Canyon. There’s also the City of Rocks in the Mimbres Valley with its incredible rock formations and the New Mexico State Park’s first astronomical observatory.

Anglers will enjoy fishing along the Gila River that flows nearly 650 miles of New Mexico and Arizona. The upper region offers excellent trout fishing, while the lower portion offers quality warm water fishing for smallmouth bass and catfish.

When you need a rest, head to the downtown Historic District. Here’s you’ll find more than a dozen restaurants, murals, and some thirty-plus galleries and artist studios.

From art and history to some of the most amazing outdoor playgrounds in the Southwest, visit Silver City. For more information, go to www.visitsilvercity.org.

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