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Area Information
Silver City, New Mexico


Nestled in the foothills of the Gila Wilderness at an elevation of 6,000 feet, Silver City borders the Continental Divide and the Gila Wilderness.

Enjoy incredible, authentic Mexican food, play 18 holes of golf, browse through museums and galleries or shop the day away for Southwestern art and souvenirs. From Silver City you can drive 15 minutes north and be in the cool pines or 15 minutes south and be in the high desert.

Our largest employers are Freeport McMoRan, Western New Mexico University, U.S. Forest Service, Gila Regional Medical Center, Silver City Consolidated Schools, Grant County, and others.

The July 2015 population estimates by the U.S. Cenus Brueau are 28,609 for Grant County and 10,004 for the Town of Silver City. The population is estimated to have decreased in both areas by 3% since the 2010 census. The housing unit count for the county is 14,600 and the town 4,000. Owner occuied housing 75%, median mortgage cost $967, median rent $642. The median income average is $38,500.

Local Organizations
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Silver City

With a population of 10,273 (2013 census) Silver City is nestled in at the base of the Gila National Forest and Gila Wilderness. It is located in Grant County, New Mexico. The Town of Silver City sits atop a site that has been home to Native American, Hispanic and Anglo settlers for hundreds of years. Silver City was formed in the 1870s, after the discovery of silver in and around the Town. Silver City quickly became a boom town, and our Wild West past includes history of Billy the Kid and Madam Millie. Today, Silver City is a bustling town with a diverse business community, a four-year university and an award-winning historic downtown.


Bayard serves as the business hub of the Mining District. Bayard is the home of the Kneeling Nun, and is a special place to Native Americans, Spaniards, miners and ranchers. The City of Bayard grew up around the Bayard Station. In 1910, open pit mining of copper ore commenced at Santa Rita. The Village of Bayard was incorporated on August 20, 1938.


Hurley was created at the commencement of the Chino Copper Company's open pit mining operation at Santa Rita in 1910. The community grew from a frontier settlement into a self - contained company town with over 5,000 residents. Currently the population ranges around 1,400. Many of today's residents are retirees and has an active Hurley Pride Committee.

Santa Clara

Santa Clara is located next to historic Fort Bayard. With a population of around 1,900 this small town is striving to improve its economic viability. Santa Clara was long known as "Central." Its post office was established under that name on January 8, 1887, and the name was changed to Santa Clara in 1996.

Grant County

Grant County includes Silver City, Bayard, Hurley, Santa Clara and a number of other unincorporated communities/areas.​​​


Unincorporated areas:

The Gila National Forest lies in southern Catron, northern Grant, western Sierra and extreme northeastern Hidalgo counties in southwestern New Mexico. It was established in 1899 and covers approximately 3.3 million acres of public land, making it the sixth largest National Forest in the continental United State.


Twenty four percent of the Forest area is composed of the Gila, Aldo Leopold and Blue Range Wildernesses. The Gila Wilderness was administratively established in 1924 by the U.S. federal government as the first designated wilderness. The Aldo and Blue Range Wildernesses were later established in 1980. The Forest Supervisor’s office is located in Silver City, New Mexico with six ranger district offices in Glenwood, Mimbres, Quemado, Reserve, Silver City and Truth or Consequences. The Forest has 12 mountain ranges and an elevational range of 4,160 to 10,770 feet. Annual precipitation ranges from approximately 11 inches on the northern end of the Forest near Quemado and on the very southern end of the Black Range to over 35 inches in the higher elevations of the Black Range and Mogollon Mountains. The Forest includes semi-desert grasslands and shrublands, woodlands, ponderosa pine, mixed conifer and spruce-fir life zones. Major streams include the Mimbres River, the Gila River and its tributary the San Francisco River. The Forest provides habitat for elk, deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, javelina, coatimundi, turkey, bear and mountain lion and many other wildlife species. Habitats across the Forest also support many endangered, threatened or candidate species such as Gila trout, spikedace, loach minnow, Chiricahua leopard frog, southwestern willow flycatcher, Mexican gray wolf, Mexican spotted owl and others. The Forest has a rich cultural history with archaeological resources reflecting a 13,000 year occupational time period.


At present, the Catron, Grant, Hidalgo and Sierra Counties are home to just over 50,000 people, who rely on the Forest to varying degrees as a source of sustenance. This has manifested through various means ranging from utilizing the natural resources on the Forest for livelihood; creating community synergy around issues and events; offering a place for groups to commune, work, and recreate together; to providing solitude, peace, and relaxation for individuals who want to get away from the social pressures and pace of their everyday world. While ways and means may have changed over time, people enjoy all manner of activities on the Forest. Firewood gathering is an important traditional activity as many local residents still rely on wood to heat their homes during the cold winter months. Permitted livestock grazing, hunting and outfitting and guiding are also long-standing traditions. The Forest also provides outdoor recreational activities for both area residents and tourists.


Source: USDA Forest Assessment 2012

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