New Mexico Stops on the Way

Silver City, New Mexico's 3 Places to Explore

From the Grand Canyon, point your wheels southeast to Silver City, N.M., home to a vibrant arts scene and natural beauty.

Tucked in a rugged corner of New Mexico, you’ll discover the vibrant historic town of Silver City. Once a booming silver mining town, it was here Billy the Kid was first arrested in 1875 for theft. While he didn’t stay long, his family did, and his mom is buried in the town’s Memory Lane Cemetery.

Today, Silver City is home to about 10,000 residents, including dozens of artists and musicians. Stroll the lively downtown where colorful storefronts, restaurants and boutiques line the street.

To find out where to stay, eat and what to do based on your schedule, stop by the Silver City Visitors Center at 201 North Hudson St. 575-538-5555; silvercitytourism.org.

Nearby Adventure

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

44 miles north of Silver City, N.M.

Ancient rock art in Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico
Ancient rock art in Gila Cliff Dwellings National MonumentDepositphotos

Enjoy a sense of solititude as you explore these ancient ruins from the 1200s. You can view them on your own or with a National Park Service ranger. Daily tours start at ruins, a .5-mile walk from the Gila Cliff Dwellings trailhead. Get details at 575-536-9461; nps.gov/gicl

Santa Rita Open Pit Copper Mine

Santa Rita, N.M.

The Santa Rita Mine, also known as the Chino Mine near Santa Rita, N.M.
The Santa Rita MineAmir/Flickr

Fifteen miles from Silver City lies the Santa Rita open pit copper mine, also known as the Chino Mine. Stand at the overlook and take in the view of the mine that is 1,500 feet deep and 1.5 miles across. It’s the world’s third oldest and second largest open pit copper mine.

Catwalk National Recreation Trail

Glenwood, N.M.

Catwalk National Recreation Trail, Gila National Forest near Silver City, New Mexico
Catwalk National Recreation TrailGila National Forest

Drive 1.5 hours from Silver City to hike 20 feet above a streambed on steel-supported walkways in the Catwalk narrows. At 1.1 miles, you’ll reach a waterfall. www.newmexico.org/regions/southwest/catwalk/