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The Silver City Museum

Mission Statement The Silver City Museum creates opportunities for residents and visitors to explore, understand, and celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage of southwestern New Mexico by collecting, preserving, researching and interpreting the region's unique history.

The Silver City Museum Opened in 1967, the museum is a department of the Town of Silver City with support from the Silver City Museum Society and The Institute of Museum and Library Services. Housed in the restored 1881 Mansard/Italianate H.B Ailman House , the museum collection resource materials include some 20,000 objects relating to the peoples and history of southwest New Mexico. A twelve-member Board of Directors , appointed by Silver City's mayor, oversees strategic planning and policy for the museum. Museum operations are administered by our small Museum Staff , supplemented with a large corps of volunteers.

312 W. Broadway
Silver City, NM 88061
4 blocks west of Hwy 90.

(out-of-town only) Hours: Tuesday through Friday
9:00 – 4:30

Saturdays and Sundays
10:00 – 4:00

Admission: $3 per person
suggested donation

Guided group tours
available by
prior arrangement

  • Admission ?
    We suggest a $3.00 per person donation.
  • Appraisals ?
    Our collections policies prohibit the Museum staff from appraising objects. However, the staff may be able to assist with identifying or dating an object. Appointments are appreciated.
  • Artifact Donations ?
    The museum collects in accordance with its mission statement and within the limitations of our ability to provide appropriate long-term professional care for the objects. For this reason, offered donations are carefully considered before acceptance. Collections objects must have been made or used in the Silver City area, be in good condition, and have been legally acquired; objects that have documentation or that fill a gap in our collections are preferred. Contact
  • Book: Built to Last ?
    An Architectural History of Silver City, New Mexico, by Susan Berry and Sharman Apt Russell, is available in a revised second edition. The book, which New Mexico Architecture called "the finest monograph on the architecture of a single New Mexican community yet to appear," traces the impact of Silver City's early personalities and events on the built environment. Its revised second edition has a new introduction and a foreword by historian Marc Simmons, an updated appendix listing hundreds of individual local buildings (including recently changed addresses), and a picture glossary of architectural terms. Softbound, 132 pages. Available through the Museum Store for $19.95. Contact
  • Collections ?
    By appointment, researchers and others may view and study objects from the Museum's collections that are in storage or are encased in exhibits. Requests should be made well in advance of the planned visit. Contact
  • Credit Cards ?
    Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover are all accepted in the Museum Store, and can also be used for Museum Society memberships, photo orders, and donations.
  • Genealogy ?
    The Museum's local history records include biographical files on former area residents. Use of the Museum's Research Library will be by appointment only and will be limited to days and times Research Volunteers are available. Please call 575-538-5921 ext. #10 for more information and to request an available time and day. We welcome additions from family researchers. Local photographs are always sought to build the Museum photoarchive; digital copies can be made in our Graphics Lab and original photos returned to their owners.
  • Guides ?
    Step-on guides for bus tours of Silver City historic neighborhoods can be arranged, but require plenty of advance notice. Contact or
  • Membership ?
    The Silver City Museum Society is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation founded in 1985 for the support of the Museum and its programs, operated by a twelve-member board of directors, with two part-time employees (Volunteer Services Manager and Museum Store Manager). Society membership benefits include a 10% discount in the Museum Store, our quarterly newsletter, and invitations to special events throughout the year including a 20%-off "members only" holiday season sale in the Museum Store.
  • Memorial Gifts ?
    Donations "in memory of" or "in honor of" an individual or family may be made to the Silver City Museum Society or to the Foundation's endowment fund. Contact or
  • Museum Society Foundation ?
    The Silver City Museum Society Foundation was organized under the charter of the Silver City Museum Society in 1994 specifically to administer an endowment fund for the long-term support of the Museum's programs. The Foundation has its own Board of Directors. Contact the for more information.
  • Parking ?
    Free parking is available on Broadway in front on the Museum; on Pinos Altos Street along the west side of the Museum; and in the parking lot at Yankie and Arizona Streets, adjoining the Museum on the east. Handicapped parking is designated in all of these areas.
  • Photo archive ?
    The Museum has an extensive photo archive , ranging from the 1870s-1940s, showing views from the Silver City area. These are now being cataloged into a computer indexing system. The 800-image John Harlan Collection is available for viewing in the local history research library; albums with copy prints of another 2,000+ images from the photoarchive are gradually being added. Original images from the entire 15,000-image collection may be viewed by appointment. Contact
  • Photocopies ?
    Photo copies of materials in our library are available to the public at 25 cents per page
  • Photo orders ?
    Digital copy prints from most images in the Museum's photo archive are available through our digital lab, starting from $8.00 for a 5x7 print. A photo use contract, which must be signed at the time the order is placed, grants one-time use for specifically requested publication or other purposes; other restrictions and credit line requirements apply. Photo order fees and any applicable shipping fees are payable in advance; allow 60 days for delivery. Contact
  • Photography ?
    Visitors are permitted to take non-flash photographs in the Museum; exceptions will be clearly marked.
  • Research assistance ?
    Use of the Museum Research Library will be by appointment only and will be limited to days and times Research Volunteers are available. Please call 575-538-5921 – ext. #10 for more information and to request an available time and day. Contact our .
  • Restrooms ?
    Our restrooms are handicapped-accessible.
  • Tours ?
    Silver City Walking Tour Pocket guides to three Silver City historic neighborhoods, La Capilla , Gospel Hill , and the Historic Business District , can be purchased for 50 cents each in the Museum Store. Each self-guided tour starts and ends at the Museum. Guided group walking tours can be arranged with substantial advance notice. Contact or
  • Volunteers ?
    A wide range of volunteer opportunities are available at the Museum, with training provided. Volunteers staff the front desk and Museum Store, lead Museum tours and walking tours, present educational programs, perform data entry, assist with photo cataloging, do gardening and maintenance projects, and assist with special events. Contact

Rose Valley RV Ranch

Welcome to Rose Valley RV Ranch! Our facility is the newest and most up-to-date in the county, and sits on 44 secluded acres. You'll have plenty of peace and quiet, but we're in the heart of Grant County and close to the most popular destinations!

Make us your base as you explore Grant County or attend great events, like the Silver City Blues Festival, parades, concerts and more. Call us for information on great activities during your stay!

Manzano's RV Park

Manzano's RV Park is located in the foothills of the Gila National Forest and is surrounded by pinion, juniper and oak trees. The elevation of the park is 5,900 feet. The park is a short, 5-minute drive to the historic downtown Silver City . It is close to the Gila National Forest , the Gila Cliff Dwellings , the City of Rocks State Park , the Catwalk , and the Kneeling Nun . A hospital and a Super Wal-Mart are also nearby. There are several ghost towns nearby: Shakespeare Southwest of Lordsburg. A WEB site listing many ghost towns

The Buckhorn Saloon & Opera House

Main Street, Historic Pinos Altos, New Mexico 88053

Mon - Sat 3pm - 11pm ~ Food Served in Saloon at 4pm
Dining Room Open 5pm - 10pm
Dining Room Reservations Recommended, by phone only ~ 575~538~9911

Fine Dining ~ Historic Bar ~ Great Atmosphere ~ Live Entertainment



Quiet, winding touring routes abound and offer generous vistas of mountains, grasslands and the deep turquoise blue sky. Tour the area's scenic byways to find less-traveled roads that lead to the 3.3 million acres of Gila National Forest, offering destinations such as the City of Rocks State Park and both of the area's National Monuments—the Gila Cliff Dwellings and Fort Bayard. In this beauty and serenity, you'll find the time and inclination to stop, explore and connect with nature.


Lake Roberts is in northeast Grant County, near the intersection of New Mexico Highway 15 and Highway 35. It is close to the Gila Cliff Dwellings and the community of Lake Roberts.

Lake Roberts is a high-country jewel, nestled among mountains near the Gila Cliff Dwellings and impounding the cold, clear waters of springs feeding Sapillo Creek. With both boat ramps and campgrounds available, the lake is an ideal getaway for a few days or longer and attracts a wide variety of birds, mammals and other wildlife. The Lake is also a great stop on a trip through the Mimbres Valley or while touring the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway.

The lake is maintained by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and is surrounded by national forest land. The small community of Lake Roberts offers a variety of lodging opportunities, as well as charming restaurants and cafes.

Camping is permitted at two campgrounds adjoining the lake, Upper End and Mesa campgrounds. Both sites charge a nightly fee and are located on the northeast side of the lake. A grassy, tree-shaded group campground, Sapillo Campground is less than three miles south of the lake on Highway 35. It offers undeveloped campgrounds under tall pines.


Bear Canyon Lake is an easy drive from many communities in Grant County, including Silver City, Hurley, Bayard and Santa Clara. It is a popular destination for fishing, picnics, bird watching and more.

The man-made lake is located off Highway 35 and is a great lunch stop for drivers taking the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway. Access to the lake is via a short gravel road, which rises steeply as it leaves Highway 35. While it is easily passable by almost all vehicles, drivers with long trailers or heavy vehicles should investigate the road's condition before driving up to the lake.


Bill Evans Lake is located in north-central Grant County. Take U.S. Highway 180 to the community of Riverside. Look for a road sign identifying the paved road to the lake.

Bill Evans Lake is an interesting body of water: It's a lake 300 feet above the river that fills it. Water from the Gila River is pumped up a high mesa to where a sparkling lake is impounded.

The lake is suited to both trout and warmwater fish species and is a great year-round place to watch birds and wildlife.

Bill Evans provides a great view of surrounding mountain ranges. The lake is encircled by a gravel road, providing access to much of the shoreline. The gravel road can be uneven and may require a high ground clearance vehicle in some areas—but the lake is relatively small, and all of the shoreline can be reached easily on foot.


With names like “Adonis Pits,” “Luck Separation Mill” and the “King Bolt Pit,” sites on Silver City's rugged Boston Hill immediately recall the town's historic era of hard-rock mining for copper, silver and other precious metals. Today, however, these destinations have been transformed into hiking destinations for one of the town's large greenbreaks, the Boston Hill Open Space Trail System.

Part of the Town's Trails and Open Spaces initiative, the Boston Hill, San Vicente Creek and other trail areas keep important parts of Silver City's natural environment and historic areas available to hikers and other visitors. So, while Grant County offers visitors more than 3.3 million acres of wild land in which to roam, there's a considerable chunk of it to explore within sight of a great meal, warm bed and hot shower.

The Boston Hill area of Silver City is west of downtown, south of WNMU, and includes the La Capilla Heritage Park and more than half a dozen former mining sites. Boston Hill, which gives the area its name, offers a fantastic view of the county from an elevation of 6,380 feet above sea level. But within a few hundred yards of its summit, plunging ravines and winding trails give the Boston Hill area a worlds-away feel, with mule deer, rabbits and javelina common trail users. Less often, you can spot coatimundi and foxes living within the town's borders, safe within the Boston Hill system.

Trailheads are available on Cooper Street, Cheyenne Street, Spring Street and Market Street. The trails range from level ground to moderately rugged inclines. Many of the trails intersect, offering a range of paths through the area, and the hill's ravines and secluded valleys are terrific spots for a “remote” picnic just a few hundred yards from Silver City's heart. A historic narrow-gauge railroad bed crosses the trail area along much of its southern third, entering the trails area near the Market Street trailhead and exiting it near the Cooper Street trailhead after a winding course of about two miles.


The Catwalk National Scenic Trail area is approximately five miles from Glenwood, at the end of New Mexico Highway 174, also known as the Catwalk Road.

Note: Two low-water crossings provide access to the recreation area on Highway 174. Never attempt to cross these when water is present.

Glenwood is about an hour north of Silver City on Highway 180; the drive winds through the high desert of Grant and Catron counties and includes a number of spectacular views. Close to Glenwood, bands of mountain bighorn sheep may sometimes be seen on the cliffs over the highway.

The Catwalk National Scenic Trail offers a fascinating glimpse into the geologic and historic foundations of the region. The result of cataclysmic volcanic actions, the area now offers a beautiful picnic spot next to Whitewater Creek, a challenging one-mile trail along the historic 1890s mining waterway, and a sense of place that creates images of an earlier time.

The name for the area, The Catwalk, refers to the original plank-board walkway placed atop the steel pipe used to bring water to the ore processing plant, ruins of which can still be seen near the parking area. Although most of the pipe is now gone, much of the current all-access trail follows this original route, winding right through the center of the creek canyon perched safely a dozen feet above the creek. Keep an eye out for trout cruising in the waters below.

The first portion of the trail is relatively easy and leads to hidden pools and splashing waterfalls—magical spots in our high desert environment. Beyond the developed trail, more rigorous trails lead into the Gila Wilderness. Consult with the Forest Service before venturing beyond the Catwalk trail area.

The Catwalk Recreation Area is a day-use area and is open from sunrise to sunset. A parking fee of $3.00 per vehicle is paid at a self-pay station in the parking lot.


To get to City of Rocks State Park, take U.S. Highway 180 south 25 minutes from Silver City, then go northeast on New Mexico Highway 61 four miles to the park access road.

Formed of volcanic ash 30 million years ago and sculpted by wind and water into rows of monolithic blocks, City of Rocks State Park takes its name from these incredible rock formations. Cactus gardens and hiking trails add to this unique destination.

The rock formations at the park are so unusual that they are only known to exist in just six other places in the world. Imaginative visitors may see the rock formations as a small city, complete with houses, chimneys, courtyards and streets.

Until 1200 A.D., Mimbres Indians roamed this area and left arrowheads and pottery shards as evidence of their culture. Spanish conquistadors also spent time in the area, carving crosses into the rocks. Visitors today can see a sampling of southwestern plants and animals. The park's desert botanical garden is home to cow's tongue and bunny ear cacti, Yucca, and towering Century plants. Deer, antelope, javelinas and jackrabbits are frequently seen in the area, along with over 35 species of birds, ranging from Golden Eagles to finches.

The park's hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and the park manager can be reached at (505) 536-2800


Take State Highway 15 north from Silver City through historic Pinos Altos and into the Gila National Forest. Although the distance from Silver City is only 44 miles, the travel time is approximately two hours due to twisting and winding mountain terrain.

An alternative route from Silver City is along New Mexico State Highway 35 and goes through the beautiful Mimbres Valley. Even though it is 25 miles longer than Highway 15, it is less winding, wider, more level and easier to travel; therefore, it takes about the same amount of time as State Highway 15. If your vehicle, travel trailer or RV is over 20 feet in length, you should take Highway 35.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers a glimpse of the homes and lives of the people of the Mogollon culture who lived in the Gila Wilderness from the 1280s through the early 1300s. The surroundings probably look today very much like they did when the cliff dwellings were inhabited. It is surrounded by the Gila National Forest and lies at the edge of the Gila Wilderness, the nation's first designated wilderness area. This designation means that the wilderness character of the area will not be altered by the intrusion of roads or other evidence of human presence.

From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the Cliff Dwellings are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the Visitor Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The rest of the year, the Cliff Dwellings are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Visitor Center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Cliff Dwellings, trailhead Contact Station and Gila Visitor Center are closed on Christmas Day. On New Year's Day, the Gila Visitor Center is closed, but the Contact Station and the Cliff Dwellings are open with the normally scheduled tours offered.

Guided tours of the Cliff Dwellings are offered daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. as part of the entrance fee. Please note that the tours start at the Cliff Dwellings and it takes about a half-hour to walk up to them from the trailhead. A self-guided tour is available at all times, and an accompanying booklet is available at the Visitor Center and the trailhead Contact Station.


Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark is one of the many nearby communities just outside Silver City, less than 15 minutes from downtown on Highway 180.

Fort Bayard played an integral role in protecting settlers and miners in the Pinos Altos and Silver City mining districts. Copper, silver and gold mining spurred economic development of this region of southwestern New Mexico.

Soldiers from the fort battled many of the most famous Apache war leaders, including Victorio, Nana and Geronimo. The first all-black regular army units made up of enlisted personnel, referred to as Buffalo Soldiers, were organized in 1866 in the close of the Civil War. Fort Bayard was home to hundreds of black soldiers who fought Apaches with distinction and who participated in the chase for Geronimo. His capture by Brig. Gen. Nelson A. Miles in 1886 effectively ended the Apache wars.

An unusual sequence of events has helped preserve the integrity of Fort Bayard. The post buildings, especially the 1885 hospital, were transferred to the Surgeon General of the Army, then the Veterans Administration and finally to the State of New Mexico as a medical facility. Continuous use has ensured its good state of preservation. Its layout and many of the buildings date to the late 19th century and offer the visitor a rare opportunity to see a U. S. Army hospital site.

The State of New Mexico maintains many historic buildings and monuments including the life-size monument to the Buffalo Soldiers stationed here. In September, the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society hosts an annual historic reenactment of fort life in the 1800s.

Tours are given on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month at 9:30 a.m. For more information about the Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark, go to

About the Fort's History

In 1865, General Carlton, commander of the District of New Mexico, requested that a new fort be established in the southwest region to protect the early settlers, miners and travelers from the Apache. Fort Bayard, located in the homeland of the Apache, was established in August 1866 by Company B of the 125th U.S. Colored Infantry, under the command of Lieutenant James Kerr. He established an encampment near the mining communities of Pinos Altos and Santa Rita. In 1899, the post of Fort Bayard was transferred to the Army Medical Department.

Fort Bayard was home to Native American Indian Scouts and several Buffalo Soldiers, including William Cathay (aka Cathay Williams), who was the only known female Buffalo Soldier. Military leaders such as General George Crook and “Black Jack” Pershing spent time at Fort Bayard as well. Among its medical leaders were Major D.D.M. Appel and Major Dr. George E. Bushnell. Both completed outstanding research discoveries and procedures in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. R.N. Dita Kinney, later director of the Army Nurses Corps, supervised the inclusion of female nurses in the Army Medical Department.


Mogollon is just nine miles from Glenwood ... but those nine miles may take a scenic hour or more to cover and should never be taken in the dark or in poor weather conditions. New Mexico Highway 159 may be closed above or below Mogollon in the winter, so check driving conditions beforehand in Glenwood. While paved as far as Mogollon, the road is frequently one lane and winds tightly through the mountains.

Glenwood is about an hour north of Silver City on Highway 180; the drive winds through the high desert of Grant and Catron counties and includes a number of spectacular views. Close to Glenwood, bands of mountain bighorn sheep may sometimes be seen on the cliffs over the highway.

Part ghost town and part quiet retreat, Mogollon (pronounced muggy-own) is a historic jewel perched in the Mogollon Mountains of southern Catron County, just north of Grant County.

Formed as a mining camp and later as a mining community, Mogollon's hills still bear witness to the heavy work of hard-rock mining underground: Mine shafts, rails for mine trains, sluices, abandoned buildings and the ruins of head frames still dot the landscape. Never attempt to enter mine ruins, shafts, buildings or other properties.

In Mogollon itself, historic buildings are still predominant along the half-mile stretch of Highway 159 that serves as the main—in fact, only—street. A small community museum is open at times and offers an even better glimpse of the mining technology and perils of Mogollon's early days.

The pace of life in Mogollon today reflects its remoteness: A seasonal B&B and restaurant are open at times, but it is best to plan ahead when visiting the area. Gasoline is available in Glenwood, and a full tank is recommended if you contemplate traveling north of Mogollon on unpaved Highway 159 into the Gila Forest.


Silver City's 18-hole championship golf course is close to Historic Downtown, off Ridge Road. Take Highway 90 west from downtown less than one mile; turn left on Ridge Road, and look for the golf course entrance. For tee times and more information, call (575) 538-5041

Home of the Annual Billy Casper Benefit Golf Tournament and host to the 2003 New Mexico Women's Amateur Tournaments, the Silver City Golf Course is known as a “jewel in the high desert” and one of the best-kept secrets in Southwest golf.

A challenging championship 18-hole public course with bent-grass greens and watered blue grass fairways, the high desert vistas, natural wetlands and gentle year-round weather at 6,000 feet above sea level offer a very special golf experience.

The Silver City Golf Course includes:

• Complete pro shop
• PGA professional instruction
• Practice green
• Grass driving range
• Club rentals
• Men's and women's leagues
• Walking and motorized cart options
• Group and corporate outing rates and assistance
• Lodging packages


The Trail of the Mountain Spirits is a wonderful scenic byway, starting in Silver City and winding more than 90 miles through the Gila Wilderness. Ideal for motorcycle touring and family driving alike, the loop takes you through the heart of New Mexico's real Old West.


The evening's entertainment opens with an old-fashioned sing-along as audience members call out the number of their favorite song. This cabaret-style theater, complete with full bar service, is housed in the Opera House in the quaint mountain town of Pinos Altos.

Pinos Altos is nestled in the tall pines of the Gila National Forest on Highway 15 just north of Silver City. The popular Buckhorn Saloon and Restaurant is adjacent to the Opera House. The dinner and show combination for large parties has become a seasonal must for groups throughout the Southwest. For more information and reservations, which are a highly recommended, phone (575) 388-3848

As always, the Pinos Altos Melodrama Theatre troupe reminds all to remember the words of that great philosopher, “Into every life a little popcorn must fall.”


To visit La Capilla, walk or drive south from Historic Downtown Silver City along Cooper Street or Arizona Street. La Capilla sits atop the large hill directly to the south of downtown, and its primary entrance is on Chihuahua Street.

The La Capilla Park area is open from sunrise to sunset and has walking trails covering much of the 23 acres in the planned development. The La Capilla tract also adjoins Silver City's expanding network of greenbreak trails and walkways, allowing you to travel from the Town's Big Ditch Park, through the Chihuahua Hill area and into the Boston Hill trail area where you can see evidence of the area's hard-rock mining history.

Access to the Capilla itself is available most days. If the Capilla is locked, you can request access to

it by inquiring at 510 S. Cooper, slightly to the north of the Capilla. For information on scheduling events, including marriages, at La Capilla, contact:

La Capilla Board of Directors
510 S. Cooper Street
Silver City, NM 88061


The Community Built Park
The Community Built Park is at 1305 N. Grant, parallel to and one block west of Pope Street, one block north of 12th Street, and a half-block south of Highway 180.

Penny Park is a terrific stop for kids and parents alike. For kids, it's a fun-filled shady acre with things to swing on, play with and run around. For parents, it's a great introduction to life in our community—a community that works together to make good things happen.

The Gila Institute for Tots To Teens (GIFTT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to bring together area residents to contribute funds and labor to build quality recreational facilities in Silver City. Their philosophy, stated in their logo, is “Build a Park, Build a Community.”

A small group of volunteers founded the corporation in 1998 and began publicizing the project, organizing the community and raising funds. The culmination of this effort was construction of the park's first phase—the Penny Playground—at 1305 Grant Street, Silver City, in April 1999. Thousands of people—children and senior citizens, jail detainees, and bank presidents—volunteered their labor to build the facilities designed by Robert Leathers and Associates, an Ithaca, New York, firm specializing in community-built projects.

The project began with polling of local school children to gather ideas of what types of equipment and features they would like to see in their “ultimate playground.” The resulting 15,000-square-foot playground is filled with a huge variety of imaginative climbing structures, slides, swings, bridges, balance beams, castle structures and picnic grounds, shaded by mature cottonwood and elm trees.

Since its inception, GIFTT has developed and nurtured a careful master plan to build other community resources for tots to teens, including a skateboard park. Ultimately, to complete all of the components in the master plan, total construction costs could range from $1.6 million—assuming a high degree of community volunteer labor—to $3.1 million to have the facilities commercially built. Funding for these projects comes from community residents and could come from you, too.


Gough Park is located in Downtown Silver City (look for the intersection of Pope and 12th Street). The park is decorated with beautiful oak and pine trees, a collection of locals and tourists enjoying the scenery, and a Gazebo placed right in the center geared to performances. Each year, events such as the Mimbres Region Arts Council Blues Festival, Silver City Grant County (SCGC) Chamber of Commerce Independence Day Celebrations, Copper Country Car Show, and many more utilize the park to host locals and tourists alike. When the festivities settle, you'll notice people of all ages taking pleasure in its grassy locale. This is always a wonderful place to stop for a picnic lunch and enjoy the area's “four gentle seasons.”


With the vast wilderness of the Gila National Forest in Grant County's backyard and the high elevation, dry climate and rural communities, the area is heralded for having some of the clearest and darkest night skies in the nation.

Amateur and professional astronomers alike appreciate the Milky Way (which spans from horizon to horizon), while seasonal meteor showers and other cosmic events can often be observed with the naked eye.


The scenic byways of Grant County also offer outstanding birding locations, where each year approximately 339 (85 percent) of the bird species found in New Mexico can be spotted. The prime riparian habitat of the Gila River is a major migration corridor, and the diversity of grasslands and pine forests provide abundant opportunities for birders to add many western species to their list.

A small sampling of the varieties include Painted Redstart, Montezuma Quail, Red-faced Warbler, Olive Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Common Black Hawk, Pinyon Jay, Steller's Jay, American Dipper, Juniper and Bridled Titmouse and eight species of hummingbirds. Birding maps are available at the Visitors Center with directions to the best locations. Come and bird in the beauty, solitude and serenity of Grant County.