Camping New

You Rock, Rock!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA

Leaving White Sands National Monument behind, the next stop in our late-winter campathon was City of Rocks State Park near Deming, New Mexico. It’s not a large park, covering only one square mile, and the hiking in isn’t what I’d call challenging, but it isn’t about those things anyway: It’s all about the rocks.

The park gets its name from its large unique rock formations which, from a distance, look like city buildings lined up on a grid. They were formed about 35 million years ago when a large volcano erupted and covered the landscape in a thick layer of lava. Over the course of millions of years, the rocks were carved out by weathering, leaving behind a unique experience for campers and daytime visitors.  

The view from the observation point puts the City of Rocks in perspective. Surrounded by flat desert landscape, the rock formations stand out and resemble a city. 

In the evening, the great-horned owls come out to hunt, filling the night with their loud, deep hoots. Before our trip to the City of Rocks, I’d never seen an owl in the wild and (unfortunately) I wasn’t prepared for the encounter. The lens I had on my camera was only an 18 to 50 mm and could hardly capture the moment. 

The campsites offer privacy in a beautiful western setting. At night while sitting by the glow of a campfire as it lights up the rocks, it’s easy to imagine yourself on a cattle drive or as part of a wagon train crossing the country. Then again, it may have just been the wine.  

The City of Rocks State Park, yet another reason they call New Mexico "The Land of Enchantment."

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  1. Matt's grandmother lives in New Mexico. When she visits, I'm always baffled by her "There's grass here! And it's green!" comments. Now I see why!
    I bet the night sky is filled with stars!

    1. Even though we used to live in the desert (Las Vegas), I'm still shocked by the bleakness of it all when we go back. This time around though, I really enjoyed the change. And yes, the sky is nothing but stars!

  2. This is an amazing place, Stephanie! So glad I am reading your posts about New Mexico. I want to go!!! Time to look for house sits in that area... Such an inspiring campsite as well. I saw a similar site in Australia, but had no idea this existed in the States. I bet you could see all kinds of figures and shapes in those rocks as well, after the wine. :-)

    1. I'd really like to get up to northern New Mexico and Arizona to do some camping -- it looks amazing up there. But it's always too cold whenever we're around.

  3. That's something I probably will never see in person. Just too much to explore and I doubt I'll go that way. So I'm SO glad to be able to live vicariously through you!