Las Cruces District Office
1800 Marquess Street
Las Cruces, NM 88005-3370
The Gila Lower Box Canyon is a true oasis in the desert, 20 miles north of Lordsburg, New Mexico. Since livestock has been prohibited in the river canyon since 1990, the canyon has grown into a lush thicket of cottonwood, willows, and other riparian vegetation. The area provides some of the best birding in New Mexico, and is habitat to many rare and unusual birds, including common black hawks, zone-tailed hawks, Bell's vireos, yellow-billed cuckoos, and hundreds of other bird species. The canyon also provides opportunities for canoeing, rafting during Spring runoff, hunting, and year-round fishing and camping. The river contains smallmouth bass and several species of catfish.
Map + Directions
To access the Gila Lower Box Canyon, take U.S. 70 West from Lordsburg 1.5 miles to New Mexico 464. Go North on NM 464 for 14 miles, and turn West on the bladed County Road. There are three access points to the river -- by turning North off the County Road at 3.5, 6, and 8 miles. The first road (3.5 miles off NM 464) goes North 3.5 miles to the river at Nichol's Canyon, where you can park and camp under majestic cottonwood trees. Motor vehicles are limited to three access routes to the river in Nichol's Canyon, and off-road use is prohibited. The other access roads (at 6 and 8 miles off NM 464) take you to the canyon rim at Fisherman's Point and Spring-on-the-Bluff, where you will need to take fishing access trails down to the river.