“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of the oceans.” –Kahlil Gibran
Although the southwest is not often thought about in terms of its water resources, the fact is that there are plenty of ways to explore water in the Grant County area and nearby! Thanks to the watershed of the Gila Wilderness, as well as lots of underground thermal activity we are blessed with numerous opportunities to enjoy water here: lakes, rivers, streams, cienegas and hot springs. We also have a delightful “monsoon” season in July and August, with late afternoon rains that water the earth and usually end in time for a pleasant evening out!
Our lakes are small but delightful to explore. The largest in the area is Lake Roberts, which is just over an hour’s drive from Silver City (off of Highway 15, the road that continues to the Cliff Dwellings) and easily accessible. Another popular lake is Bill Evans Lake, about a half hour northwest of Silver City off of Highway 180. Bear Canyon Lake is not far from Highway 35 in the Mimbres valley.Suggested websites: Lake Roberts Bill Evans Lake Bear Canyon Lake
RIVERS AND STREAMS:
The Gila River is last free flowing river in New Mexico, with its headwaters near the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Geronimo is said to have been born near these headwaters. It flows through some very rugged parts of the Gila Wilderness as it heads westward, eventually passing through the small towns of Cliff and Gila and before it continues on through the Burro Mountains and eventually into Arizona. It offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and whitewater rafting.Suggested websites: Canoeing, kayaking and rafting suggestions from Southwest Paddler Three trips suggested by All About Rivers About the Middle Fork of the Gila from New Mexico Outdoor Homepage of the Gila Conservation Coalition
Thanks to a wealth of geothermal activity, southwestern New Mexico has many hot springs, ranging from out-of-the-way springs you’ll need to hike into to ones within an easy drive, from primitive to luxurious. With our mild climate, hot springs can be enjoyed nearly all year round.Suggested websites: From Discover New Mexico From Trails.com
Yes, we do have fishing here! In the above mentioned lakes and rivers there are opportunities to catch smallmouth bass, catfish and trout. The Gila National Forest is the only place in the world that a person can catch the Gila Trout, which is on the threatened species list and is considered the most rare trout species in the United States. There are special restrictions when fishing for Gila Trout in New Mexico.Suggested sites: Fish the Southwest Southwest Fishing Guides New Mexico Fishing Report Trails.com And, Silver City’s own Rex Johnson has written a book: Fly Fishing in Southern New Mexico