Tuesday, January 16, 2018

City of Rocks

Freddy the Wonder Pup and I will be doing something different in 2018. We are going to spend the year visiting all of the State Parks in New Mexico to see what makes them so popular. I was here for a month in 2010 and photographed all the campsites at these parks but I really wanted to come back and stay a week or more at each one to really experience what each has to offer.

Our first stop was at City of Rocks.

This is a high desert spot about midway between Deming and Silver City just off US 180. It consists of 45 developed sites and 10 with electricity and water.

The hookup spots are next to the visitor center and consist of both back in and pull throughs.

The shade ramadas are a nice touch. Several of these sites can be reserved. The visitor center blends in nicely with the landscape.

See where the morning sun is casting a glow on the door just left of center? It leads to hot showers and flush toilets. Yippee!

The visitor center is loaded with information about the area and upcoming Ranger programs.

Across from the hookup sites is the group area.

This is the meet up area for ranger led stargazing nights. With no light pollution, the sky is amazing.

The standard campsites are laid out along a loop road that encircles, well, a city of rocks. These rocks were formed about 30 million years from volcanic ash and whittled away by wind and water into their present shapes. These formations are found in just six other locations across the globe.

Here are some campsite examples.

 At the eastern tip of the loop is a small suburb called Pegasus campground which contains five reservable sites.

Spaced out along the road are four clean vault toilets. Really clean, the staff does a great job keeping this campground looking good.

We stayed in site 45 which is on the outside of the loop road at the western edge.

It is my favorite site here, offering up amazing sunset views.

There are 7.5 miles of hiking trails in the park and you will definitely see some wildlife. Over 35 species of birds inhabit the area, along with deer, antelope, and javalenas. And rabbits. Desert cottontail and jackrabbits can be seen hopping all over the desert.

The Hydra trail encircles the campground, starting next to the botanical garden (next to site 45) and ending at the visitor center. We walked it every morning.

Freddy is on high rabbit alert status.

The desert here is very different from the California desert I am used to seeing. It doesn't look real. It looks like the painted desert at Disneyland. Maybe it is the mile high elevation. It is beautiful and orderly somehow.

Anyway, back to the trail.

The observation point is on a little spur trail that overlooks the park.

A glance to the right gives a look at the campground below.

The hookup sites are in the middle with the visitor center just to the left.

If you kept turning to the right you would see Table Mountain.

Yes, there is a trail that takes you to the top, but Freddy wanted to go check out the rocks so we headed back.

There is a nifty trail that takes you right through the city. I let Freddy guide me.

This is where the kids play. You can hear their joyous laughter bouncing off the rocks. The perfect hide and seek spot. Like Tom Sawyer's island, there is much to explore. Little nooks and tiny crannies. It is surreal. You have to see for yourself.

Campers come from all over to visit the magic that is City of Rocks. Lori and Phillipe from eastern Canada stopped by on their way west. They invited Freddy and me to their site on New Years Eve. I took some sunset pics first.

Then we walked to their site, aided by the light of the full moon. Freddy took a look for rabbits on the way.

Yes, that is moonlight. notice the lack of shadows. Philippe popped a bottle of bubbly.

And we toasted the end of 2017.

As I wrote at the beginning of this post, this is just the start of our adventure in New Mexico. Many more places to explore. I asked Freddy what he thought about the trip so far.

"I like the bouncing cats."

"You mean the rabbits?"

"Yeah, wabbits, whatever, I like the short ones and the tall ones. Tall ones are faster. I like to chase wabbits.".

"What if you caught one?"

He gave me a sly grin.

"Just wanna play. Not eat."

Not sure if I believed him, I asked a couple more questions. He just ignored me and stared out at the desert.

Probably thinking about wabbits.

Greg and Freddy


  1. Hey Billy G. It was nice meeting up with you and Freddy again at Rockhound. I look forward to seeing all of your reviews. These are pretty comprehensive and informative. I'd put a blip in this one about the Faywood Hot Springs conveniently next door. I just spent 3.5 weeks at COR & Faywood. I'm looking forward to more of your adventures. See ya on the road less traveled. Karylee

  2. Hi Greg, I'm wondering if it is possible to use some of your photos in a brochure for campgrounds for folks with disabilities (autoimmune disease and environmental illness). It will be a pdf so it should not be searchable. My website is mychemicalfreehouse.net thank you! Corinne

  3. I have a photo I'd like to share

  4. Hope you and Freddy are still well and traveling in 2022. Thanks for all your photos. Yes, this is an amazing place!

  5. Great pics and info tyvvm ;). Had never heard of this State Park before and was intrigued. Pictures didn’t disappoint