City of Rocks State Park: RVing in Southwest New Mexico

City of Rocks State Park is located in Faywood, NM.  Faywood isn’t exactly a destination city, but if you find yourself passing through southwest New Mexico, City of Rocks State Park is absolutely worth the stop.  There’s apparently also a small, private RV park a few miles down the road where you can take a dip in natural hot springs, but we didn’t investigate that.

The park has two sections – one is reservable and has water and electric sites.  This area is basically a gravel lot off to the side of the rocks with little privacy.  Trudy would have fit easily, but all of the spots were taken and it wasn’t our preferred type of spot anyway.

The other section is FCFS (first come, first served) with no hookups.  There’s a fresh water spigot to fill up but no dump station.  Some of the FCFS sites are truly awesome – they’re nestled into the rocks, tucked away from everyone else.  Every FCFS site was taken so we ended up in their overflow section (only a handful could fit a 38 foot motorhome + toad anyway).  We had called ahead and knew this may happen and were fine with it.

Calla didn’t mind the torrential downpour we arrived in

The overflow lot was one of their group campsites.  There were several sections to it that naturally divided the large area.  We chose a spot right up against the rocks for easy access.  It was also right next to their observatory – which was great since there was a star party scheduled for when we were there, but it ended up being cancelled due to cloudy night skies.  Of course the overflow lot had no amenities, no hookups, and no bathrooms – which was fine with us!

Our spot, right next to the observatory and the rocks!
Aerial view of our spot

On the Rocks

City of Rocks State Park consists of a pretty large outcropping of large rocks.  They were created by a volcanic eruption millions of years ago and have since been eroded and sculpted by weather and time.  The result is fantastic, and the park is aptly named!

The main rock outcropping as seen from a separate, smaller outcropping (RVs give the rocks some scale)

The rocks in the park are expansive and easily walkable.  We arrived during a rare rainstorm so there were lots of puddles and lots of moved displaced sediment.  The rain cleared the next day, revealing the beauty of the ancient rock formations that give the park its name.  The park isn’t very large, but the rocks are fun to explore and there are well-maintained trails throughout the park.

Colors and crevasses in the rock
The park has lots of interesting formations and balanced rocks

Table Mountain

A mile or two down a trail from the campground we found Table Mountain Trail.  It’s not a huge mountain but it’s one of the tallest in the vicinity and the summit provides great views.

Table Mountain

The landscape here greatly contrasted with that of last stop,  Oliver Lee State Park.  Oliver Lee was solid rock; the landscape surrounding City of Rocks State Park consisted of swaying silver and gold grass, large boulders, and rolling hills.  The open, blue skies with (mostly) wispy white clouds also added some background contrast.  The colors were foreign to our Pennsylvanian eyes!

Fields of silver and gold

We were only at City of Rocks SP for 3 nights.  We didn’t leave the park since there wasn’t much else in the area.  Besides the rock formations, Table Mountain Trail was the highlight for both Hannah and me.  The trail wasn’t particularly challenging, but the views throughout really set it apart.  It finally sunk in that we made it to “the west”, and we loved it!

The perfect spot to contemplate
The view from the far side of Table Mountain

Some Rest and Relaxation

Like I said above, we didn’t actually leave the park during our short stay at City of Rocks.  We took advantage of the lack of amenities and spent time together exploring outside.

Beauty all around
How’s this for your back yard?

If memory serves me right, this was where Calla found her love for throwing rocks into water.  I think she spend a few hours throwing stones into puddles here.  This has continued to be one of her favorite activities throughout our travels for some reason.

The start of her rock throwing obsession?

We enjoyed our stay at City of Rocks State Park.  There’s not much to do in the area, but if you’re ready for that (and stocked up on food and supplies), it’s easy to spend a few days exploring here.

Date visited: February 2018

2 Comments

  1. The Laurel Highlalnds Trail winds through rocks almost as big on the mountain above Indian Head, PA. (Half as big?)

    1. The LHHT certainly has large rocks as well. City of Rocks is different in that it’s pretty much one or two large groups of concentrated rocks as opposed to the more spread out rocks at LHHT. Both are fun to explore!

      Thanks for reading, Uncle Brooks!

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