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pile of rocks at City of Rocks State Park on a cloudy day

City of Rocks, large sculptured rock formations surrounded by the Chihuahuan desert, lies within southwestern New Mexico only 33 miles east of Silver City. City of Rocks State Park surrounds these majestic boulders, some as high as 40 feet, and serves to protect this ancient ‘city’ of pathways throughout the rocks.

This unique area offers visitors an escape from everyday life with trails, a scenic overlook, a campground, scenic picnic areas, a Botanical Garden, and a modern Visitor Center.

Activities

Planning to visit Silver City or Deming? Be sure to take a day (or several) and pay a visit to City of Rocks State Park. This interesting New Mexico state park lies about halfway between those two cities and provides opportunities for camping, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, stargazing, picnicking, and more.

A visit to this state park can be a lot of fun year round, whether you decide to visit for the day or campout under the rocks. So pack a picnic lunch, relax in the picnic area between exploring the city-like pathways that wind through the massive rock formations, and then check out the new Visitor Center and desert Botanical Gardens.

entrance sign at City of Rocks State Park

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to City of Rocks State Park:

Hiking at City of Rocks State Park

City of Rocks State Park features more than 5 miles of multi-use trails that extend throughout the surrounding desert. These trails allow guests to get a closer look at the Botanical Garden, the majestic rock formations, local flora and fauna, and 360 degree views of the surrounding area.

Here are a couple of the trails at City of Rocks State Park:

  • The Hydra Trail – A moderate 3.3 mile loop that begins near the Visitor Center and Botanical Garden and winds around the campground area. Rest areas with benches are scattered along the path.
  • Table Mountain Trail – Moderate 5 mile trail through the desert and up a rocky path to an observation point and 360 degree views of the surrounding area.

Biking at City of Rocks State Park

Mountain biking is also popular at City of Rocks State Park. Bring your bikes and enjoy a pleasant ride through the camping areas. Or, for a more challenging ride, check out the Table Mountain Trail.

hiking trail at City of Rocks State Park

Birding at City of Rocks State Park

More than 180 species of birds have been sighted within Almo Valley and City of Rocks. The giant rock formations, desert landscape, and nearby springs are perfect for many species and it’s believed that at least 35 species have nests within the cavities and crevasses of these massive boulders.

During your visit to City of Rocks State Park you may observe sparrows, finches, Great-horned Owl, Cactus Wren, Scaled Quail, Western Scrub-jay, Eastern Meadowlark, Lesser Nighthawk, Common Poorwill, Western Kingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, and Blue Grosbeak.

Nature and Wildlife at City of Rocks State Park

Nature and wildlife are both spectacular attractions within City of Rocks State Park. This city of majestic rock formations provides an ideal habitat for nesting birds, 300 species of butterflies, 3 types of rattlesnakes, lizards, chipmunks, mule deer, mountain cottontail, blacktail jack rabbit, mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, moose, and elk.

desert landscape at City of Rocks State Park

Pets at City of Rocks State Park

Pets are allowed within designated areas at City of Rocks State Park as long as they are supervised, leashed, and cleaned up after.

Camping at City of Rocks State Park

City of Rocks State Park features a charming campground area nestled within the large boulders and surrounded by the scenic Chihuahuan desert. The giant rock formations and pathways throughout them provide some privacy and ambiance for campers.

The campground has 50 campsites, 10 of which may be reserved and have electric and sewer hookups. Group camping is also available. All campsites have a picnic table, grill, fire ring and grate. And are near either flush or vault toilets, hot showers, and freshwater.

Campers should prepare ahead by bringing everything that they will need with them, especially food and drinking water. It’s best to be prepared because the nearest grocery stores are located in Silver City, Fort Bayard, and Deming.

Park Location

City of Rocks State Park
City of Rocks State Park
327 NM-61
Phone: 575-536-2800

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at City of Rocks State Park: