Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Few Days Near Deming, NM

We generally try to keep our travel days well under four hours, but the trip from Catalina State Park in Tucson to Rockhound State Park in Deming was about five hours (we run at about 62 mph when pulling the trailer). At the end of a drive like that Rosie is so ready to get out of the truck!

Rosie is THRILLED to be out of the truck!

Rockhound State Park has only six reservable sites, the other 17 with water and electric are first come, first serve. By the time we arrived at 1:30pm all sites were taken and we had to go into overflow for the night. The overflow is actually the group area and contains four W/E sites all in a tight row. We ended up with three neighbors in close quarters but still enjoyed excellent views and a very peaceful night. Had we felt like it we could have moved to a spacious campsite the next morning. W/E sites are only $14/night (or even less with the NM State Parks Pass).

The campground is nestled up against the Florida Mountains in a stunning setting. We hiked the two short trails right from the campground, saving nearby Spring Canyon for a future stay. Having just come from the super green Sonoran desert, we found the Chihuahuan desert to be quite brown in comparison, but it was obvious from the healthy looking prickly pear cactus all around us that recent rains had been good to this area. The higher elevation meant cooler nights, keeping the desert in its winter clothing.

The mountains beyond Hans can be viewed from the campsites.

The hills were covered in prickly pear cactus and this little rockhounders trail took us right through them.
Some of the paddles were the size of dinner plates!

The peaks above Hans can be viewed from the campsites.

Looking down on the campground.

Here we are in the group/overflow campsite.
Overnight we had two more RV's to our left so you can see it was a tight squeeze!

There are some really lovely campsites at Rockhound. If we are in the area again we would try for one of the reservable sites. Each morning there is a lively jockeying for available sites as people come and go. It seems that first come, first served makes for a busy campground!

The last time we came through New Mexico in the spring of 2013 we contemplated staying at Faywood Hot Springs but ended up bypassing it for Elephant Butte...so this time around we decided to give it a try.

Faywood Hot Springs is a rustic RV/Tent/Cabin park located about halfway between Deming and Silver City. Hot water has flowed from a tufa on the property for thousands of years, commercial development of the site has been happening since about the 1850's. The resort has 15 pools; some are public, some are private, some are clothing required, some clothing optional. The pools vary in temperature from about 90 to 115 degrees.

We enjoyed a very private site (#19) and a very quiet two night stay. With a Verizon tower only two miles away we had excellent cell signal. Water pressure at our site was extremely poor, we had to use our water pump for showers and dishes. We found the pools to be enjoyable but not as clean as the pools we experienced at Sam's Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs; there was a tiny bit of algae in some pools. Overall this was a nice place to stay but at $37.50 per night, a little pricey.

Us in site 19 on the left. Our sitting area is completely enclosed by bushes.
We had a neighbor in site 20 the second night...that's probably one of the last sites to fill.


Family friendly clothing optional pool art.

From Faywood it's just two miles to City of Rocks State Park. Volcanic ash laid down here about 30 million years ago has eroded into the fantastic shapes that jut out of the earth at this unusual site. We ended up walking almost seven miles through the fascinating boulders and up to the top of Table Mountain.

City of Rocks backed by Table Mountain.

There are a lot of fabulous dry camp sites among the rocks.
The picnic table for this site is nestled in a rock room.





It's amazing what a tiny spot City of Rocks is in the middle of a giant valley.

After our hike we walked the rest of the City looking for our friend Jen and her sweet pup Q who we found had snagged a neat, private camp site among the boulders...the perfect place to chill for a few days.



Back at Faywood we enjoyed another soak and then a sunset stroll.



We've got a nice short drive today to Las Cruces, Rosie will be happy about that!

20 comments:

  1. Rosie looks so happy to be out of the truck! Sophie tries to claw her way out the door when we drive that long.

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  2. Never been to the City of Rocks. Thanks for the tip! Careful of that wind today, better to hunker down.

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    1. It was a little breezy at first, but quite calm in Las Cruces.

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  3. We love Rockhound SP and always stay there when we're in the area. Your photos really capture the beauty! Glad to hear your opinion of Faywood Hot Springs -- it's a place we've considered staying, but think we'll pass if there's algae in the pools. City of Rocks looks great, though -- it's another place on our list. Feels good to be on the road again, doesn't it? :-)

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    1. Faywood truly is rustic.

      The dry sites among the rocks at City of Rocks were amazing, but the two rows of W/E sites were nice and big with some wonderful views.

      It feels fantastic to be in new places! So happy to be exploring!

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  4. What a cool place...rock city! We rarely dry camp, but I love those sites! I know visiting with family and friends is so important, but nothing beats the wheels rollin'! Awesome pictures and hikes.....

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    1. Yeah, I forgot to mention the nice W/E at City! Great views!

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  5. Love that picture of Rosie. Rockhound looks like a great place as do the dry sites at City of Rocks. I can hear that you are glad to be out and about exploring. Carry on!

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  6. I can sensed the joy in your feet and glad to be out exploring and hiking again. We skipped Rockhound SP and City of Rocks when we passed thru there two years ago. And the place actually is beautiful and a cool place!

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  8. We, too, enjoyed exploring City of Rocks. We didn't have time for a long hike that day. Table Mountain will have to wait.

    Also on our list is Rockhound State Park. Thanks for the review and pics. Did you find any gems??

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    1. We didn't really look for any special rocks...not really our thing, plus no place to keep them!

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  9. Well, your desert might not be green but it sure does have cool rocks! I've been wanting to visit City of Rocks SP for awhile. I would love climbing around the rocks.

    Love the colors of your sunset walk photo:)

    Rosie is so darling standing up there like a big shot:)

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    1. Any time there is a piece of wood to walk on, she will walk it!

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  10. Wish we had the time to stop there next month, but it is definitely on our list when we can slow down! The pic of the City in the valley really shows what a small "oasis" of boulders it is. The views from the campsites at Rockhound are wonderful :-) Glad to see Miss Rosie's travel needs are being respected now......

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    1. Yep, Rosie must be respected...or else! ;-)

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  11. I am putting both City of Rocks and the hot springs on my list, thanks to you! Algae or not, I need a bumper sticker that says "I brake for soaking!" LOL!

    SO great to see you guys again, even though it was for such a short time. Next time our paths cross, I hope a hike or a soak is involved!

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  12. Looks like a great place for hiking. I've also missed your adventures and I'm glad you and Hans are enjoying getting out and about.
    A friend bought me some Prickly Pear/Strawberry jelly during her stay in the desert. It tasted fantastic.

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