See maps of Gomez Peak and Boston Hill in this publication for recreation trails near Silver City.
BIRDING IN THE GILA NATIONAL FOREST
Just an hour drive from Silver City, the Gila River Bird Habitat, a special management unit of the Gila National Forest, offers great birding with easy access and easy walking among river willows and cottonwoods along the Gila River. This is a very special place where spring migrations and the combination of riparian habitat and desert foothills bring a great variety of birds together. Common Black-hawks patrol the Gila River or perch high in treetops. Yellow Warblers, Cardinals, Vermillion Flycatchers and Tanagers draw your eye like magnets. Towhees and thrashers rustle in the thickets, and Black Phoebes and Phainopeplas have their favorite, conspicuous perches. Also look for Lucy’s and Olive warblers.
Just a half-hour drive north of Silver City, in the Gila National Forest, the silver melody of the Hermit Thrush mingles with the distinctive calls of Painted Redstarts and Red-faced Warblers. The mix of oak and pine are a favorite place for Acorn Woodpeckers, Bridled Titmouse and Nuthatch. The lucky birder may also find a Montezuma Quail.
Spring migrations begin in late April, but birding can be rewarding all through the year. Over 339 species have been seen in Grant County. You’ll find intriguing desert canyons, cool riparian habitat, Pinon/Juniper woodlands, and Ponderosa and Spruce/Fir forests within an easy drive.
Information about birding is available at the Gila National Forest Supervisors Office in Silver City, the District Ranger Stations and the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Go to www.silvercity.org for more information and links.
HIKING IN THE GILA NATIONAL FOREST
The Gila. People think of different things at the mention of the name. Some think of the Gila Cliff Dwellings built in the 12th century by the Mogollon people or of the Apache people and famous leaders like Mangas Coloradas or Geronimo, born in these mountains. There where famous mountain men, too, like Nat Straw and Ben Lilly. Some think of the Gila Wilderness, our country’s first designated wilderness and the inspiration and great outdoor laboratory for Aldo Leopold’s writings on land and wildlife conservation. Some think of the Gila River and the mass of craggy mountains that rise so suddenly out of the grassy foothills.
We invite you to discover the Gila. Over 1,510 miles of trails offer so many hiking possibilities. Elevations range from around 6,000 to over 11,000 feet. There are hiking opportunities for families wanting to spend some quality outdoor time with their children or hikers who want to put on the miles and meet the challenges and magnificent vistas the Gila will offer to them.
There are numerous trailheads all around the perimeter of the forest so you’re never too far from a great hike. Information about hiking trails is available at the Gila National Forest Supervisors Office in Silver City, the District Ranger Stations and the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Go to www.silvercity.org for more information and links.
BICYCLING ALL YEAR
Silver City has a growing bicycling community as our mild climate makes it possible to enjoy riding all year round. Terrain varies from rolling grassy foothills at around 6,000 feet elevation to long mountain climbs through pine forest to spectacular mountain vistas at over 8,000 feet.
For Road Bikes: Good pavement and lightly traveled roads offer good riding on all our highways and scenic byways. Silver City is the home of the Tour of the Gila, a premier, 5-day stage race that attracts international teams. Many racers come to Silver City for winter training.
For Mountain Bikes: Silver City is the home of the annual Signal Peak Mountain Bike Challenge. There are great mountain bike trails in the Gila National Forest. Recently completed sections of the Continental Divide Trail are open for mountain biking. Information is available at the Gila National Forest Supervisors office in Silver Ctiy.
You can make Silver City and Grant County your bicycling vacation destination. Every day offers a new ride. There are two full-service bike shops in Silver City to serve you. Visit www.silvercity.org for more information and links.