Jun 18, 2014

City of Rocks, NM State Park

(merged in from a blog we used to run about exploring where you live)
click to enlarge


Things to Do:

  • Hiking
    • 5.5 miles of trails, plus free range of the “city”
  • Biking
  • Camping
    • 52 Developed Camping Sites
  • Bird Watching
  • Astronomy (they hold star parties here!)
  • Picnics
  • Bouldering
Things To Bring With You
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks/Food
  • Sturdy shoes if you want to hike or wander the city

Nearest Cities: 

  • Silver City, NM 
    • 34 miles
    • 44 minutes 
  • Deming, NM
    • 29 miles
    • 33 minutes

Our first stop at the park was the Visitor’s Center. Their interpretation isn’t extensive, but it did do a great job at explaining how the City was formed and what was available there. They have a book exchange there as well, which I thought was really cool. From the Visitor’s Center we took the driving tour around the outside of the City.

click to enlarge

 Just before completing the driving loop we pulled off and decided to go explore the City some.

It was really fun to wander through the rocks and to see the various formations. Hallways, hanging boulders, hollowed out coves, pillars. It was awesome!

Darrow wasn’t incredibly impressed.

The plant and animal life there is fun too. Various types of cactus, flowers, grasses, and trees spot the City, with some of them even growing straight out of the rocks.

We were there mainly to look for lizards for Cameron’s Master’s Project. There weren’t as many as we thought there’d be, but he was able to catalog 8, so that was good.

There were birds all over too. Hawks, Ravens, Swifts, and we even scared up an enormous owl (I don’t know if it was more startled or we were!).

Being a little partial to Astronomy, it was fun to see that all the campsites are named after constellations!

Trivia: Did you know that Ophiuchus is the 13th Zodiac sign? It is! They thought it’d be unlucky to have 13, so they cut Ophiuchus out. 

 There were even signs of Native American use with the grinding stones:

We spent about 3 hours wandering around the City. I’m anxious to go back and do the hike up to the top of Table Rock as I’m sure the view is spectacular. It was a fun place to poke around for the morning. I loved that you could get as involved as you wanted to be. If you just want to drive around the loop and look, that works, if you want to wander through the rocks it isn’t too strenuous, or if you want to push yourself you can hike Table Rock.

We’ll definitely be hitting this place up again!

(This post was originally on a boredusa blog, hence the boredusa watermark on the photos, we were going to get going before I decided to just make it part of my normal blogging). 

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