I’m a firm believer in getting off the grid every now and again, disconnecting from my devices and spending time without distractions with the ones I love most. That’s exactly what Michael and I (along with our pups) did last week when we roadtripped up to the mountains of New Mexico. It didn’t hurt that we were also able to escape the Arizona heat!
Our approach to finding random locations to roadtrip to is actually pretty simple: we do an Airbnb search of entire homes for rent that will allow us to bring our dogs, anywhere within about a six-hour drive of Phoenix. That’s exactly how we ended up in Joshua Tree last year and how we discovered Silver City, New Mexico and the Gila National Forest.
Our Airbnb was perfect: quiet, secluded and with a view! It was the perfect jumping off point for our adventures in the Gila National Forest, and the dogs loved it — the mountain air, actual grass (which I think they miss from before we moved to the desert), and even some other animals they’ve never seen before (like a deer in our front yard). I love getaways we can take them on!
Did you know that last week was the 100th birthday of our National Park Service? Michael and I were excited to celebrate in one of our beautiful national parks. While the Gila National Forest has tons of trails, we knew we had to check out the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, which was luckily just a few miles up the road from our house.
Not only was it a beautiful hike, but a serious history lesson! While exploring the Cliff Dwellings, NPS volunteers told us about the nomadic people who used the caves of the Gila River as temporary shelter for thousands of years and the people of the Mogollon Culture who called it home in the late 1200’s. Many of the walls in the Cliff Dwellings still stand, so it’s an interesting place to envision a whole community crafting pottery, raising children and living life.
After our hike, we decided to head back down the mountain to check out historic Silver City. It’s about a 90-minute drive, but probably the most scenic drive I’ve ever been on. Serious mountain views! We also drove through historic Pinos Altos, and while we didn’t stop, I couldn’t help but snap a photo of what might be the cutest fire station/town hall I’ve ever seen. The whole area just oozes with Southwestern history — it’s amazing.
Arriving in downtown Silver City is a bit like stepping back into the past. The whole place is full of historic charm, and I loved all of the art showcased throughout galleries in the arts district. Michael and I sat down for coffee at the Javalina Coffee House and later grabbed a beer and some apps at the Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery before heading back up to our mountain retreat. My only tip if you’re heading to Silver City: go early; many establishments close at 5pm.
Overall, we loved our New Mexican getaway. Gila National Forest and Silver City were the perfect places to relax, recharge and spend some quality time together without the distractions of everyday life. Where’s your favorite place to get off the grid?