There is much to do here in the area. Check out these popular places to visit!
A Visit to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The Gila Cliff Dwellings are well known. Within five natural caves there are 42 well-preserved rooms of stone and mud mortar that were built in the 12th century. A beautiful wooden footbridge spans the West Fork of the Gila River from the Gila Cliff Dwellings visitor station to the mouth of Cliff Dweller Canyon. The West Fork of the Gila River flows under the bridge, rippling and sparkling in the sun. Two mule deer drinking at the shore look up than lower their heads again. Above you towering rocks pierce the blue sky. There is only the sound of the river and wind in cottonwoods and pines. It's beautiful and peaceful, and time is forgotten. The river has flowed here for uncounted thousands of years. It was like this when the Mogollon people ventured up this valley and found the caves that would protect the dwellings they built and suddenly left behind 800 years ago. As the trail enters Cliff Dweller Canyon the walls close in and you walk in the dappled shade of pines accompanied by songs of birds and cascading water. There are little bridges that cross the stream and benches along the way to sit and enjoy the moment. A half-mile up the canyon the trail ascends in a series of stone steps. Here is your first view of the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Looking up you see dark arches, like giant eyes, in the cliffs above. Sheltered within the caves and reflecting the warm glow of the sun, are the Dwellings. You climb the stone steps to a broad shelf and pass by caves and ruins, inaccessible and high on the cliff face. At the largest of the caves a stair takes you up and into a great domed chamber, cool and dim with reflected light from outside. The stone walls of many rooms fit together like a puzzle on the sloping floor and the smoke of ancient fires blackens the high ceiling. Two great arched openings look out across the canyon to pine covered slopes. The view is stunning. A Monument volunteer is there to tell you about the Dwellings and the Mogollon people. Little is known about them but you can come to your own understanding of them by visiting their ancient homes. In learning how they lived you will find an appreciation for the endurance and spirit of the people who came before and left their mark in this timeless place. A visit to the Gila Cliff Dwellings in the heart of the Gila Wilderness is a great experience for everyone.
The Catwalk's history began with the discovery of gold and silver in the Mogollon (pronounced muggy- own) Mountains above Whitewater Canyon. The small town of Graham (also called Whitewater) grew up around a mill, located on the west hillside near the present day parking area. Ore was dropped from a chute down the Whitewater mesa and funneled into the mill where it was ground to separate the gold and silver from rock. Water was needed to generate the mill, so a pipeline was constructed to channel water from 3 miles up Whitewater creek. Brace holes were drilled to hold the pipeline. In the mid 1930's, after the mill had been closed for decades, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) rebuilt the Catwalk as a recreation attraction for the Gila National Forest. The Forest Service has rebuilt the Catwalk after several devastating floods, the latest in 2013. It is now reopened to enjoy again.
Silver City is the boyhood home of Billy the Kid. Silver City is a blend of the old and new, the last of the frontier days and modern culture. The historic downtown district has brick Victorian homes and stores built in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It's charm and character has been preserved by our community's efforts. You'll enjoy a visiting to the Silver City Museum, Western New Mexico University Museum, and the galleries and shops. Silver City has been listed in the books, The 100 Best Small Towns in America and The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America. The Silver City KOA has as all the area publications and maps to help you discover and enjoy Silver City and our wonderful area.
The Silver City Museum, a Victorian mansion built in 1881, was once the H.B. Ailman house. The museum has permanent and rotating exhibits of objects and furnishings from homes and business of the early frontier and mining days as well as ancient Mimbres and Casas Grandes Indian pottery and artifacts. There is also an outstanding archive of early photographs. Explore the various rooms of the Ailman house and climb the stairway to the cupola for a view of Silver City.
Located in this little mountain community nine miles from the Silver City KOA is the famous Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House where the flavor of the Old West is preserved. You'll have a great meal in a truly unique atmosphere. There is musical entertainment in the Saloon almost every night. You can also visit the Hearst Church, built in 1898 with money donated by the famous Hearst family. This unique adobe church now houses the Grant County Art Guild and an exhibit of horse drawn vehicles including the funeral hearse that carried Sheriff Pat Garrett.
Silver City is a favorite place for those who love to get outdoors. We have much to do so pick out what looks most interesting to you and be sure to allow enough time to see all the sites.
This is the place to go gallery hopping. Silver City is listed in the Best 100 Small Art Towns in America. The shops and artist-owned galleries feature quality art at affordable prices. In October on the Columbus Day weekend the annual Weekend at the Galleries takes place in downtown Silver City. This wonderful weekend event features special gallery showings, food, and entertainment at the galleries in Silver City's Historic and Cultural District. Come for the fun and the art!
Our beautiful river valleys and winding forest roads are great for bicycling . Good pavement and light traffic make our location a cyclists dream. If you're a mountain biker you'll like the many forest roads and trails for a great day of riding. We've created our own bicycling brochure with our best picks for road and mountain bike rides.
See the brochure for map.Download the details
We invite you to discover the Gila National Forest and the many opportunities for hiking in quiet solitude. Scenic trails, natural beauty, mountain vistas, canyons, streams and clean, clear air make our location ideal as an outdoor recreation destination. The Fort Bayard Wildlife Refuge across the road from our KOA offers great hiking, mountain biking, birding and wildlife viewing. You can take your pets, too. Silver City KOA has its own free hiking brochure and we can advise you on the best trails to explore.Download the details