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City of Rocks State Park, NM

April 30, 2006—I've been here at City of Rocks for a few days now, having driven a big 44 miles from Rock Hound State Park on Friday. This is getting to be my preferred camping style: find a nice state park, stay two or three weeks, then move 50 to 100 miles to another park. I don't cover much ground, but I enjoy myself...and I don't worry much about gas prices, because I only average about 25 miles a week!

In some ways, City of Rocks reminds me of Jumbo Rocks campground in the Joshua Tree National Monument, although they are geologically different. The weirdly shaped rocks seem to spring out of the ground here, a cluster of fantastic shapes in the middle of a rolling plain.

City of Rocks

As at Jumbo Rocks, there are many oddities here such as "balancing rocks," arches and twisty passageways.

Split rocks
Rock arch

Kate and Terry parked their Lazy Daze in one of the ten electric-and-water hookup sites, but I chose a dry-camping site, and I'm glad I did—it's much more scenic! Oh, the electric sites aren't bad...but they're all grouped together in one flat area. By contrast, the dry-camping sites are nestled among the twisted rocks with each site having plenty of separation from the nearest neighbor.

Gertie at City of Rocks

My site (#9) is right next to a bunch of big rocks, so you can walk a few feet back, climb through a split rock, and and find yourself in a maze of twisty passageways. This is a kids' paradise! I have a nice picnic table where I can sit in the afternoon, when the rocks provide a pleasant shade.

Gertie at City of Rocks 3

There's plenty of wildlife here. I tell my friends I'm surrounded by big rocks and small rabbits, and it's true.


The rabbits are out grazing every morning and evening, and it's fairly easy to get close to them if you move slowly and quietly.

Small rabbit

And as always in the southwest, there are the mountains in the distance...

Sombrero cloud

...and the sunrises and sunsets, each one as unique and beautiful as an maple leaf in a Vermont autumn.


And I sit inside Gertie, putting this page together and watching the clouds drift by in the pure blue New Mexico sky. What more could I ask for?

Andy at City of Rocks
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