Silver City is an eclectic small town in the southeast corner of New Mexico, bordered by the Gila National Forest to the north and east.
Originally a mining town, it is still host to copper mining though its population has extended to artists, college life, ranching and rodeo families, and “retired” hippies. There is something for everyone in the Silver City area from the arts and entertainment to outdoor recreation, history, shopping and much more.
Stroll the downtown and arts district. Historic buildings, art galleries galore, unique shops and gifts, quirky coffee shops and delicious cuisine.
Take a nature hike through Silver City’s famed “Big Ditch” which was the original main street before the flood in 1895. The ditch is maintained with hiking trails, benches, and a beautiful shaded, natural environment in the downtown area.
Visit the campus of Western New Mexico University, established in 1893 and the Western New Mexico University Museum and Mimbres pottery collection of the Mimbres Mogollon Indians (A.D. 200 – A.D. 1140/50) who once lived in the area.
Make the drive through the Gila National Forest up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Explore the world of ancestors of Puebloan people who lived in the Mogollon area over 700 years ago.
Visit the City of Rocks State Park. Marvel at these large sculptured rock formations in the shape of pinnacles or boulders rising as high as 40 feet.
Looking for beauty, peace and solitude? Drive up to Our Lady of Guadalupe Benedictine Monastery. Located on a mountaintop high in the Gila forest. Visitors welcome for daily Mass and gift shop.
Mountain-bike the San Vicente Trail.
Take a dip in one of the areas numerous hot-springs: Gila Hot Springs, Faywood Hot Springs, Melanie Hot Springs, Light Feather Hot Springs, Jordan Hot Springs, Turkey Creek Hot Springs, and the San Francisco Hot Springs.
Make like a miner to the historic old 1860s mining town of Pinos Altos nestled in the Gila Forest on the Continental Divide, just minutes from Silver City. Explore the area then stop in the Buckhorn Saloon to wet your whistle.
View the Kneeling Nun rock formation and the Santa Rita open-pit copper mine. Other nearby day-trips include Historic Fort Bayard, home of the Buffalo Soldiers and the Catwalk near Glenwood Springs which is the famed Hole-in-the-Wall of Butch Cassidy and his gang.
Pick a festival or event: The Red Paint Pow Wow, Chicano Music Festival, Silver City Clay Festival, Red Dot Studio & Gallery Tours, Chocolate Fantasia, Gila River Festival, Red Hot Children’s Fiesta, Tamal Fiesta y Mas and the Silver City Fiber Arts Festival, Silver City Blues Fest, the Copper Country Classis Car Show, A Taste of Silver City, Wild Wild West Pro Rodeo, The Tour de Gila, Art Market, Farmers Market and Pickamania are held annually in Silver City.
Silver City has the vibe and feel of a remote and undiscovered outpost, bathing in character and intrigue. Although Santa Fe has exploded in popularity with intrepid travelers, locales like Silver City remain very much off-the-beaten-track.
Don’t let this dissuade you from making this visit a truly central part of your stay in the state of New Mexico. It is rewarding and exhilarating. Whatsmore, it offers a pronounced sense of satisfaction because it takes you away from the typical comfort zone of casual visitors to the state. Here, you can find a true ‘feel’ for what this part of the United States is all about, without gravitating to the areas that are tailored and tweaked to the needs of tourists alone. Out of your way or not, don’t let this one pass you by!
For more information on lodging and events visit www.silvercity.org