The Lower Gila Box is a remote area along the Gila River open
to camping, hiking and wildlife viewing. Look for Gila monsters
(Heloderma suspectum) sunning on rocks in the morning.
Gila spotted whiptails (Cnemidophorous flagellicaudis)
can be seen running under bushes during the day. Mexican garter
snakes (Thamnophus eques) can be found on river edges
hunting minnows. Harris' antelope squirrels (Ammospermophilus
harrisii) are easily seen on rocks along the canyon.
Arizona gray squirrels (Sciurus arizonensis) are
found in large pines along the river. Listen and watch for
Gila woodpeckers (Melanerpes uropygialis) in the
trees along the river. Watch for Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii)
in the riverside vegetation. Listen for Abert's towhee (Pipilo
abertii) rustling the leaves under river trees and shrubs.
Watch for Arizona coral snakes (Micruroides euryanthus)
along the trails. September through May is the best time to
visit to avoid extreme temperatures. A hat, plenty of water,
and good hiking shoes are essential. To reach the Box, travel
north of Lordsburg on US Highway 70 for two miles and turn
right on NM Highway 464. Travel 14.1 miles on NM Highway 464
to a point 50 feet south of the Grant County/Hidalgo County
boundary sign. Turn left (west) on the only dirt road in the
vicinity (Nichols Canyon Road). Drive 3.6 miles and turn right
(north) at the first gravel crossroad. Continue another 4.9
miles to the BLM sign for the site. Continue 0.8 miles to
the river and park in the designated parking area.