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Gila Wilderness with kids?

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Gila Wilderness with kids?

I'm planning a trip to a private home near Gila Hot Springs and the Gila Wilderness. I'm aware of the travel time, and especially the steep and winding climb from Silver City.

I've done a lot of web searching, but haven't found a lot of activities to do with young kids (5yo) and family that aren't into hiking. I'm sure there are fun things nearby -- perhaps swimming in Lake Roberts area? restaurants in Pinos Altos? parks in Silver City?

Was thinking we'd do a day at the Cliff Dwellings and easy hike around there, a day in Glenwood and at the Catwalk, a day in Silver City. Any other suggestions?

Also, I'd love tips on the best time of year to travel there. We had been considering September/October. We'd like to go when it's not too hot or cold, and when we won't find rattlesnakes on the front porch!

I have enjoyed the other informative posts about this area, and I'm hoping some of you are still reading!

Thanks much!

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1. Re: Gila Wilderness with kids?

September/October is a great time to visit. You most likely will NOT find rattlesnake on your porch at any time of the year. The 5 year old will love the Penny Park in Silver City. It's a community built project and designed by kids. There are picnic facilities there. The Cliff Dwellings is a steep climb, but there are benches to rest on. No swimming in Lake Roberts, The University has an indoor pool with hours for public swimming. The Catwalk is also a great picnic area- with the hike along Whitewater Creek. Not too strenuous.

Check out City of Rocks. It's a State Park and kids are encouraged to climb and explore.

The Buckhorn in Pinos Altos is a good place for dinner. Casual attire. Be sure to visit the Opera House. If the Melodramas are still going - Saturday night - that's always fun.

Several good museums in Silver City. The SC Museum in a Victorian Home focuses on the history- mining, ranching and has great photos of the flood which caused the "Big Ditch" - formerly Main Street. The WNMU Museum houses the largest permanent collection of Mimbres Pottery in the world. Check out www.silvercity.org for calendar and other things to do.

Have a fun trip.

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2. Re: Gila Wilderness with kids?

We've been to Silver City on July 4th weekend, and had a wonderful time. The national parks are relatively empty...and are very beautiful. The town holds an old-fashioned 4th of July celebration and parade... very charming to see the high school bands, and twirlers... etc. The kids watching the parade all had a great time, and prior to the parade there was a big crafts fair in the city park where people milled around and shopped until the parade began. Silver City is an undiscovered treasure.

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3. Re: Gila Wilderness with kids?

We've been to SC the last two Memorial Day weekends for their Blues Festival and have had a blast.

While not a very kid thing to do, make sure you check out the art galleries in SC. Our two favorites are Blue Dome http://www.bluedomegallery.com/ and Art and Conversation. The should get a kick out of the critters cut out of the hoods from old cars and trucks.http://www.lizardbreathranch.com/ If you're lucky Janey Katz, the artist, might show you how she creates them.

I would definitely take the kids to the Catwalk. There're lots of opportunities to play in the water as you work your way up the canyon.

We also enjoyed Faywood Hot Springs. There's not a whole lot to do there except relax in the pools. We spent the night in their teepee, running water, fire pit, no electricity, outhouse nearby, flush toilet a little father away. Might be a fun camping trip with the kids. The stars were amazing and the birds in the morning incredible.

As to hiking, I personally love hiking and have backpacked with family and children of all ages. But, with children it s always a challenge to keep them going. About four years ago, we discovered Geocaching. Folks hide little "treasure chests" post the coordinates on a web site, and others use a GPS receiver to find them. When you do, you swap items. Every child we've done this with loves it! Check out http://www.geocaching.com/