Gila National Forest has loads of old mines – some for gold, some for silver, some for other stuff.
Jennifer is a lady we became friends with during our stay at Elephant Butte Lake RV Resort about a year ago. She had asked if I wanted to join on a ride to the old silver mines to look for crystals. And so I did.
We trailered the RZR over – we had to go through a tiny little town called Hillsboro, NM. Super small and apparently they have totally awesome Christmas decorations.
We got to where we park the trucks and unload. The road out to the mines is an old, dirt forest road just like in any national forest. You could make it out in any off-road vehicle (4Runner, Jeep, Raptor etc.), maybe even some cars! I wouldn’t recommend it though.
We looked around for hours around a few old silver mines. They were all barred up but the remnants of when they were actively mining were still around.
Which is where we found the crystals! There were tons of little ones but finding the big ones was basically finding a needle in a haystack! You could find small clusters of them but I only found 2 ‘big’ ones – and truth be told, they weren’t really that big.
We spent a few hours on the hunt and came up with just a few that made the cut – literally.
I never realized how many old mines were all over New Mexico – it seems everywhere you turn, there are more old, abandoned mines. Super neat stuff if you’re into it.
We had fun & found some treasure! 🙂