Gila, New Mexico
There is plenty to do in the area, but many folks find that they are content to walk around the property, visit our horses, watch our ducks swim around in the pond, or just sit and listen to the quiet. This is a perfect retreat if you just want to get away...far away from the rat race. This is real out-west country living. But, if you feel like taking a drive there are some things you can do.
Bearpaw Ranch is a premier location for star-gazing. New Mexico is the only state in the union with night light legislation and Gila is one of the darkest places in the country. The property has a large flat hill that is a premium spot for night sky observation and we have hosted several amateur astronomers over the years. Have you ever seen the Andromeda Galaxy or the Great Nebula in Orion or the Beehive Star Cluster with your naked eye? Here, you can see these and more!
The Gila National Forest is home to approximately 339 bird species. The various species of birds is found to be related to the diverse habitat on the Gila and location on a migratory flight path. A short walk from any of our four cabins will bring you to the riparian area around our ponds with complete river access just beyond the ponds. Species found here on the ranch include Common Black Hawk, Bell's Vireo, Hooded Oriole, Elf Owl, and Gambels Quail.
Silver City is very bike friendly. Each April the town hosts the Tour of the Gila. It is one of North America’s premiere bike races drawing top competitors from across the globe. Olympians, a Grand Tour winner, world champions, and promising youngsters all come to race in the Gila for the coveted trophy bowls.
We allow catch and release on all four of our ponds here at Bearpaw Ranch. There are catfish, largemouth bass and crappie. Lake fishing on the Gila National Forest is limited to three man made lakes. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish stock all with rainbow trout in fall, winter and spring months. Bill Evans Lake, located adjacent to the Gila National Forest, is a ten minute drive from Bearpaw Ranch. Also, both the Gila River and the San Francisco River along with their many tributaries are located within the Forest. Upper reaches and headwater tributaries of both rivers offer trout fishing, the lower reaches of both rivers offer quality warm water fishing opportunities.
Discover the beauty of the Gila National Forest. There are hundreds of miles of trails for hikers- from a smooth path through the deep forest to a challenging ascent of the headwaters of the Gila River. While we are always eager to share hiking information with our guests, you can also find a lot of information by visit the Forest Service for a complete list of hiking trails. There are hot springs in the forest and we gladly share info on how to find some of the most popular ones.
We have a plethora of inspiring scenes and have been blessed to host painters, musicians, and writers who come for the peace, serenity, and pure beauty of the surroundings. We have hosted Plein Aire art competitions and seeing the artists set up with their easels all around the ranch is always a fun thing!
The Catwalk National Scenic Trail area is approximately 5 miles from Glenwood. a small town situated 30 minutes north of Cliff/Gila on Highway 180. The Catwalk is a day-use area and is open from sunrise to sunset. The Catwalk leads to hidden pools and waterfalls by way of a winding walk right through the center of the creek canyon perched a dozen feet above the creek.
Water from the Gila River is pumped up a high mesa to where Bill Evan Lake sites. The lake is stocked with both trout and warm water fish species. Annually, it fills anglers' creels with crappie, channel catfish, bluegill and largemouth bass. October through May provides active trout presence. Primitive camping and electric motors and self-propelled boats are permitted at the lake.
Good riparian birding may be found among the riparian woods and hillside scrub along the Gila River. The Bird Area is located on the Bill Evans Lake Road. Follow the paved road past the lake turning and continue onto the dirt section 1.5 miles.
The quaint little town of Glenwood is about a half hour north of Cliff/Gila on Highway 180; a drive that provides spectacular views as you wind through the high desert of Grant and Catron Counties. Glenwood is home to hot springs, the State Trout Hatchery which abounds with blackberry bushes. Every 4th of July Glenwood puts on a great old fashioned small town parade and spectacular fireworks display.
Mogollon is just 9 miles from Glenwood - but those nine miles are comprised of frequent one lane windy turns that may take a scenic hour or more to cover ( it should never be taken in the dark or in poor weather conditions). Mogollon is a historic ghost town, and a quiet retreat perched in the Mogollon Mountains. Its cultural center boasts world class exhibitions and collections of native artifacts.
The Town of Silver City's wild west past includes the birth, first arrest and incarceration of Billy the Kid. The Kid's family lived in the area for many years, and his mother is buried in the Town's Memory Lane Cemetery. Silver City is a bustling town with a diverse business community, a four-year university (WNMU) that houses a museum of Mimbres Indian artifacts, and an award-winning historic downtown that is lined with boutiques, specialty shops, restaurants and art galleries. A Farmers' Market is in the middle of historic downtown Silver City, between 7th and 8th at the Big Ditch every Saturday from Spring through first frost.
A visit to the copper mines is also a must, with a stop at Lake Roberts on the way!
Silver City hosts two free premier music festivals. The Bluesfest every Memorial Day and Pickamania in September. The Wildwest Pro Rodeo in June is always fun, and we have our very own county fair out here in Cliff/Gila on the first weekend of October every year.
Historic Pinos Altos is six miles north of Silver City, on NM 15. With its old buildings dating back to the 1800's, Pinos Altos main street feels like an old western movie set. You can visit historical sites, museums, and fine dining in the Old Opera House. You can continue up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings.
A perfect day trip to visit the thousand year old ruin of the Mimbres and Mogollon people. Just below the cliff dwellings is Gila Hot Springs for a restorative dip in the hot water.
Looking for something to do? The Bearpaw Ranch is nearby many great activities, attractions, and destinations.