Silver City, New Mexico—in the always cool, Southwestern part of the state—is surrounded by millions of acres of uncrowded, pristine outdoors to explore. Whether it’s fly fishing, cycling, hiking, camping, stand-up paddleboarding, birding—we’ve got you covered.
The first wilderness set aside by Congress was the Gila Wilderness, found within the vast 3.3-million-acre Gila National Forest. The Gila Wilderness is the largest with 559,324 acres and is one of four designated wilderness areas within Old West Country—three within the Gila National Forest (Gila, Aldo Leopold, and Blue Range Wilderness) and one within the Cibola National Forest (Apache Kid Wilderness).
Every National Forest offers its own unique beauty. The Gila’s beauty is in its diversity of rugged mountains, deep canyons, meadows, and semi-desert country. Elevations range from 4,200 to 10,900 feet and cover four of the six life zones.
There are more than 400 miles of fishing streams that lace the entire forest. Wildlife in the Gila National Forest includes Rocky Mountain mule deer, Sonoran White-tail deer, beaver, elk, bobcat, mountain lion, and black bear. The lucky person may spot wild turkey, antelope, and other animals in the right season.
The largest federal land mass encompassing more than any other forest area except Alaska: The Continental Divide meanders through the Gila for 170 miles of solitude and grandeur. The Gila National Forest lies from Silver City north to Reserve and west from Hillsboro to the Arizona border.
New Mexico’s Most Remote Spot: On December 6, 2001, the Albuquerque Journal named a location in the Gila Wilderness as “New Mexico’s Most Remote Spot.” A team examined the point most distant to roads and to population density. They chose a point 11.5 miles west of the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitors Center.
In addition to miles and miles to explore and escape to, Silver City also offers amazing experiences for arts lovers. Silver City is home to a vibrant arts scene—one of the most renowned in the Southwest. Painters, potters, printmakers, weavers, glass blowers, jewelry makers, and other artisans have made their home here. You can’t stroll through our historic downtown district without noticing that we have a lot of art galleries! We’re proud to have been named one of the “100 Best Art Towns in America” by author John Villani. And our active gallery scene doesn’t stop in downtown Silver City—there are a number of galleries in the surrounding communities. For many, taking in our galleries is one of the highlights of their visit!
If you love live music, we’ve got you covered. Silver City may be a small town, but it boasts an impressive array of talented musicians and a thriving music scene that a much larger town would be proud of! From solo performers to high energy bands, from songwriters to gifted interpreters, including nearly every style of music out there, there is enough variety to interest nearly every visitor!
When you’re strolling downtown, be sure to check out the murals. Silver City is home to more than 50 murals, many of which completed by the Mimbres Region Arts Council Youth Mural Project.
And if you’re a foodie, we have plenty of dining to please any palate. And please be sure to check out our events calendar, we have something happening nearly every weekend.