Formed of volcanic ash 30 million years ago and sculpted by wind and water into rows of monolithic blocks, City of Rocks State Park in Faywood (near Deming) takes its name from these incredible rock formations. Cactus gardens and hiking trails add to this unique destination. The rock formations at the park are so unique that they are only known to exist in six other places in the world. Imaginative visitors may see the rock formations as a small city, complete with houses, chimneys, courtyards, and streets.
Until 1200 A.D., Mimbres Indians roamed this area and left arrowheads and pottery shards as evidence of their culture. Spanish conquistadors also spent time in the area, carving crosses into the rocks.
City of Rocks was the first New Mexico state park to receive an observatory. The observatory consists of a 12 x 16 building with a roll-off roof and is permanently equipped with a 14″ Meade LX-200. The entire facility is solar-powered and includes a 20-inch monitor, which allows several visitors to simultaneously view the jewels in the night sky, as images are transmitted through the telescope.
Visitors can see a sampling of southwestern plants and animals. The park’s desert botanical garden is home to cow’s tongue and bunny ear cacti, yucca, and towering century plants. Deer, antelope, javelinas and jackrabbits are frequently seen in the area, along with over 35 species of birds, ranging from golden eagles to finches.