Saturday, December 17, 2011

City of Rocks: New Mexico's fantasy town of nature-sculpted rock formations


At the apex of a triangle formed by Deming and Lordsburg, Silver City is the gateway to the 3.3-million acre Gila National Forest, sixth largest in the US and one of the most remote in the Southwest.

Halfway between Silver City and Deming lies City of Rocks State Park, rock formations that over the last 30 million years, give or take a few, have been sculpted by wind and rain into bizarre shapes and configurations resembling a fantasy world of city streets, houses, alleys, courtyards, and towers--features limited only by your imagination.

You can also find typical Chihuahuan plants in the park’s desert botanical garden as well as deer, javelina, pronghorns, coyotes, and jackrabbits. Hiking trails wind through the formations for exploring the crevices and caves--pottery shards and arrowheads from the ancients have been found here and continue to be found here.

Mysterious crosses etched on the rocks by Spanish Conquistadors are said to be clues to buried treasure, but don’t bring your shovel—no digging for treasure or artifacts is allowed. The campground has both primitive and hook-up sites but the closest supply point if you forgot your peanut butter is either Deming or Silver City.

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