City of Rocks

The days in the Sonoran Desert were really nice. After leaving Organ Pipe Cactus, we spent a few days in the Tucson area at State Park. Like at Organ Pipe, we saw beautiful scenery and had nice weather. But we have commitments in Minnesota, so are starting for home.

Our first stop was City of Rocks, a small New Mexico State Park south of Silver City. I wanted to see that park on the way west a few weeks ago, but from what I could tell the campground was always full. But the other day I figured out that only the small number of reservable sites are showing up in the reservation system, and that most sites were first-come, first-served and not listed online. So we headed over there and found a mostly empty park.

The park encompasses an outcropping of needle-like weathered rocks from and old magma eruption. The campsites are tucked in amoung the rocks around the perimeter or the outcropping. It’s not a big park – the outcropping is somewhere around a quarter-mile wide and a few hundred yards deep.

You are permitted to wander around in the rocks, so I did. But I found out that navigating a maze of fifty-foot rocks is not like navigating the woodlands like I’m used to. I crossed the rock maze four times and got off track and landed in the wrong place twice, something that I’d not expected. Seems strange to need to use a map and compass to go a quarter-mile.

It’s kind of neat to be nestled in the rocks though. A nice place, worth a two-day stay.

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