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Rockhound State Park, NM

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Rockhound State Park is located in southern New Mexico 10 miles southeast of Deming on the western slope of the Little Florida Mountains. The park is one of only two state parks in the country that allow visitors to gather and remove unique rocks and minerals - agate, opal, chalcedony, jasper, geodes and thundereggs, to name a few.

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The campground is nestled up against the mountains with Deming off in the distance.

Date of visit: Dec 2013

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We pulled into Rockhound about noon on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The campground is a small one with 29 sites, and there were 3 or 4 available for us to choose from. As we were slowly driving around checking out sites, two different campers stopped us to say that they would be leaving shortly. We settled on a pull-through, site 20, near the lower end of the campground where we had a better view out over the valley.

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Just below us were three sites that are used for park volunteers; we thought they were the best sites in the park and wondered why the volunteers would get the best sites instead of a paying customer.

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Site 6 would have been our first choice, but it was closed, along with several other sites, while the new bathhouse was being built.

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There are six non-electric sites in a separate small loop. The trailer on the left is one site 0, while sites 1-3 are just above the little vault toilet.

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Sites 5 and 4 are the other non-hookup sites.

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Site 29 is a large site.

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Sites 18 and 19 with the Little Florida Mountains in the background.

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Site 27 in the foreground with site 26 behind it.

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Sites 15 and 16 are up at the top of the campground loop.

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A great view can be had from site 14.

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Sites 11, 12 and 13.

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Site 22 is a back-in with a bit of a hill leading up to it. The actual parking spots in most sites are fairly level.

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There is a large group site with several shelters and hookups for four RV's.

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A new bathhouse was under construction with a completion date of 2014.

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There are a number of trails around the campground, some of which go partway up and along the hillside. More adventuresome folks can bushwhack their way to the top of the ridge.

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One of the more interesting variety of cacti found here is the fishhook barrel cactus, scientifically the Ferocactus wislizeni. Its needles are shaped like fishhooks and are amazingly sharp. It is also known as the compass barrel cactus because they tend to lean toward the sun (southward). Its life cycle is 50-100 years!

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Our first morning here dawned with a clear blue sky. The campground is in the shadow of the mountain, but southward, the rising sun strikes Dragon Ridge.

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Always a sucker for sunsets, I couldn't resist this one with the lights of Deming in the distance.

Amenities

30 sites: 24 with W/E - $14, 6 with no hookups - $10

Dump station

Showers

Good VZW coverage

Hiking, rock-hounding

Coordinates: 32.186192 North, 107.612152 West

Elevation: 4608'