Around this time of the year when midterms and homecoming festivities collide, students can become very stressed out with managing their time between their school work and their social lives. One of the most important things to remember is to take care of yourself. Western New Mexico University’s Student Health Services offers free therapy visits for students as well as other services. If students are not interested in this type of therapy, one of the many other options for students to deal with stress is to go outside in nature. Our university is surrounded by beautiful nature and when studying for classes gets to be too much, going outside to take a hike with a friend can really help to improve one’s mental state.
Recommended hikes for the students, by the students:
Gomez Peak and Little Walnut Picnic Area
Recommended by Jill Smith, a graduate student studying Interdisciplinary Studies.
“There’s multiple trails and it’s not a far drive from campus. The view from Gomez Peak is amazing and breathtaking!”
Recommended by Zac Taylor, an undergraduate student studying Sociology.
“It’s a super invigorating and challenging hike, but it has a great view at the top.”
Gomez Peak and Little Walnut Picnic Area are located just outside of Silver City and can be found by heading down Little Walnut Road. Gomez Peak is a beautiful hike that can be moderately difficult as students get closer to the top because of the increase in incline and elevation.
Recommended by Cesia Paredes, an undergraduate student studying Nursing.
“It’s near by but at the same time it is far away from everything and you’re able to just enjoy nature.”
Recommended by Tim Stillman, a graduate student studying Business.
“Boston Hill is just a beautiful place to be. The south side had a more dessert feel with neat trails and distant views that go on forever. On the north side, there is more of a forest feel as if you’re deep within the Gila. Once you get up to the top, you realize that you’re not that far from town, and the views of Silver City and the university are breathtaking. One of my favorite parts about this place is that it doesn’t take long to get there and you can still have the forest feel with the silence and all that nature has to offer, but still have the city views.”
Recommended Savannah Lueras, an undergraduate student studying Social Work.
“It’s so beautiful there. It really gets you out of your head and it’s very grounding.”
Boston Hill can be found at a few different trailheads are available on Cooper Street, Cheyenne Street, Spring Street and Market Street. Depending of the trailhead one chooses, the hikes difficult can range from easy to moderate difficulty.
Gila National Forest and Box Canyon
Recommended by Amanda Hutchinson, an undergraduate student studying Social Work.
“The solitude and being able to get away is nice. Your phone doesn’t work and you’re forced to just be there. Box Canyon is also great and especially so when the water is flowing. It’s so peaceful and great for hiking.”
Gila National Forest is about a forty-five-minute drive from Silver City, but it is a definitely a must-see for students. Besides the fact that it is a National Forest, it contains incredible views, wildlife, and history.
There are many wonderful options for students if they are interested in getting more involved in our local nature. Our university Outdoor Program offers outdoor gear for students to rent and fun trips to different nature spots. Some upcoming events include their day hikes, mustang search and rescue field training, backpacking the Gila, and a ski and snowboarding trip. If students want to register for any of these trips, they must do so on the Wednesday before the trip plans to depart. More information on the Outdoor Program can be found at https://outdoor.wnmu.edu/ .
For more information on the Student Health Services offered on campus, including counseling and medical care, please visit the Student Health Services office located on the first floor of the Juan Chacon building, or visit https://health.wnmu.edu/ .