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SANTA FE (June 27, 2012) – Silver City is open for business!

SANTA FE (June 27, 2012) – Silver City is open for business!

Silver City’s shops, lodges, inns, motels, cabins, RV parks, B&Bs, museums, restaurants and other attractions stand ready to serve; and the more than three million acres of the Gila National Forest and Wilderness unaffected by the Whitewater-Baldy Fire are waiting to be explored.

Janet Seals, an information assistant with the Gila National Forest, said while people tend to have their favorite places on the Forest, now is a wonderful time to discover new ones. Plenty of trails, campgrounds, and sites remain open on the Forest and in the Aldo Leopold and Blue Range Wilderness areas. Quemado Lake, on the northern part of the Gila, is an excellent alternative to Snow Lake (which is in a part of the forest that is closed because of the fire) and about the same distance (three to four hours from Silver City). It is accessible by trailers, and offers campgrounds, cool pine forests, and visiting elk herds.

Day hiking is available on all the trails in the Black Range (off of Rt. 152) and in the Burro Mountains (along Rt. 90 south of Silver City and along Rt. 180 northwest of Silver City), and along the Gila River, the last free-flowing river in the Southwest.

Another family-friendly treasure is Pueblo Park, on the edge of the Blue Range Wilderness, about two hours from Silver City, where a year-round creek, cool pine forest, a big meadow and an easy hike to a pit house archeological site await.

The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and Visitor Center are open every day, including all holidays, with a guided tour daily at 1 p.m. Explore the world of ancestors of the Puebloan people who lived in the Mogollon area more than 700 years ago.

Other Silver City-area attractions include the Silver City Museum, the Western New Mexico University Museum, Signal Peak, the Continental Divide Trail, petroglyph sites at Dragonfly and Pony Hills, theTrail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Loop drive, City of Rocks State Park, Lake Roberts and Bill Evans Lake (where the fishing is great), Piños Altos, Mogollon ghost town, and the Mimbres Culture Heritage. Downtown Silver City has many art galleries, shops, cafés and restaurants, and a Farmers Market on Saturday mornings during the summer and fall.

Visit www.SouthwestNewMexico.org or call 575-538-5555.

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