City of Rocks gets its name from the incredible volcanic rock formations found here. The park encompasses a one square mile area in the scenic Chihuahuan desert region of southwestern New Mexico at an elevation of 5,200 feet. The “city” is a geologic formation made up of large, sculptured rock columns, or pinnacles, rising as high as 40 feet and separated by paths or lanes resembling city streets. These rocks were formed about 34.9 million years ago when a very large volcano erupted. Then, erosion over millions of years slowly formed the sculptured columns seen today, creating a stunning, otherworldly landscape.
The new visitors center looks quite massive, but the office portion is on the right of the entrance and bathrooms on the left. The stone wall makes it look larger, but almost 2/3 of the wall is just that,a wall with parking behind it.
We noticed the rocks below to the left and drove around the park in reverse order. There are numerous crevices between the 30-40 ft boulders and would be a great place to play hide and seek.
We couldn't figure out what this rock formation looked like but it was impressive. Just let your imagination run wild and see what you come up with. An Elephant?
The steps next to the mushroom are part of the campsite. They have tent sites and this is one of them.
Sometime in the past 1,000 years or so this rock split and the colors inside of the rock are very nice. The other half of the rock is laying in front of it.
There were a number of these flowers in the park and they are just starting to bloom. I would love to see them in full bloom, but that will have to wait until another time.
I wonder how long those two little rocks have been in place between these boulders? This is another campsite and a small motorhome or trailer would fit in there nicely.
This area was open and it looked like a little valley between the rocks. Gerry was wondering how the rock in the center remained standing up after all those years.
There is a slot between these rocks big enough for a person to fit through, much like a slot canyon.
This group of rocks was set off from the main section and they had 3-4 campsites in the area. When we drove through on a Sunday afternoon 2 of the sites were occupied.
The windmill looked to be in very good shape and I'm guessing it is used to fill the tanks with drinking water or for the bath houses in the park. As you can see it was very hazy due to the high winds and dust being blown around.
This motorhomer had a prime campsite with a great view of the valley below. They had privacy with the rocks on the left side of the motorhome.
We stopped by the visitor center but it was closed for some reason. I think the Ranger was making his/her rounds and locked it up while they were gone.
We thought it would be an hour or so visit to the park and wound up spending over 2.5 hours checking it out. We could have spent more time there, but it was getting late and we wanted to visit a few more sights in the area.
They had a small section near the visitors center that had room for 10 rvs with water and electric hookups. They were nice big sites but didn't have the huge rocks near them. Most of the other sites were too small for our 40ft motorhome so if we went there I guess it would be in this area.
52 Developed Campsites
5 W+ E Sites (30 amp)
1 W+ E Sites (50 amp)
3 W+E+S Full Hookup Sites (30 amp)
1 W+E+S Full Hookup Sites (50 amp)
Water in Campground
If you have the time I would recommend visiting the park and taking your time seeing it all. We did reverse our drive in the park and saw the rock formations from the opposite view. That worked out very well and we saw more details going around the right way.
That was our day, how was yours?