"City of Rocks State Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Silver City Off The Beaten Path Tip by toonsarah
Silver City Off The Beaten Path: 5 reviews and 15 photos
If you like unusual landscapes and photogenic rock formations, this is the place for you. A group of bizarrely-shaped rocks rises from an otherwise fairly featureless plain as if they had been placed here by ancient man, but this is a completely natural construction. The outcrop was formed of volcanic ash 35 million years ago and sculpted by wind and water into these rows and groups of monolithic blocks, which are said to resemble streets of skyscrapers (hence the name, City of Rocks). Apparently the rock formations at the park are so unique that they are only known to exist in six other places in the world ? but I haven?t been able to find out what those six places might be.
We only came for an hour or so. It?s a great place for a picnic, with lots of tables dotted among the rocks (see photo five). You can also camp here, with individual sites similarly tucked up against the rocks, and there?s also an area for RV hook-ups, though naturally that?s slightly further from the rocks themselves. A helpful ranger spotted us setting up for our picnic and recommended that we try a different area on the other side of the formations where the views and light would be better ? t was. So if like us you?re here around lunch time, do check out the far side before deciding where to picnic.
Lunch finished we spent some time exploring between the rows of rocks, and taking lots of photos. It?s hard to do this place justice, but do open my panorama, photo three, to get an idea of the scale. We also went into the visitor centre where you can see a short video about how the rocks were formed. We thought about doing the nature trail through the cactus garden too, but an approaching storm (photo four) made us think twice, as we weren?t sure this would be a good place to be if the fork lightening came any closer. Our new friend the helpful ranger pointed out how the rain wasn?t actually hitting the ground ? rising heat from the plains turns it to steam before it can do so. This phenomenon is known as ?virga?.
Day use cost us $5 ? there?s a self-pay station near the entrance. Camping costs more of course ? check out the state parks website for a list of fees, which depend on the facilities available.
%Directions 24 miles south west of Silver on US 180, then go northeast on NM 61 for 4 miles to the park entrance road, which will be on your left
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