We were lucky on the Sunday after thanksgiving, to get the best RV spot at Rockhound State Park (just south of Deming New Mexico). We didn’t have reservations, and this park is very popular and hard to get in to. We got camping spot number 16, directly at the top of the hill overlooking the whole park and the valley and Deming city lights at night. It’s about 30 miles north of Palomas, Mexico. We have found that traveling on a Sunday seems to be the best bet for the least amount of traffic and availability of a space in the parks; we try to time our arrival before 11:30 am. We have found that most people have left just before we arrive, this has happened over and over again.
Rock Hound has several trails, with offshoots up into the hills, to look and dig for either geodes or thunder eggs. Before we got there, we thought they must be just laying on the ground waiting for us to pick them up (after many days of diligently looking for natural treasures, we found out that is not the case). Even though we found zero cool rocks to take with us (one of the only state parks we know of that allow you to take rocks) we did love the hiking trails above and around the park; well-groomed and easy to walk on, with a slight incline and great views of the valley below. The park is at the foot of the Florida Mountain Range, which is quite rugged and home to wild Ibex that were a gift from the Shah of Iran back in the 60’s. I spent many an afternoon in my anti-gravity chair looking through my high powered binoculars hoping to get a glimpse of them. We heard from other campers that early one morning 20 of them came out of a cave with a cougar in hot pursuit – dang we missed that show!
Another not to miss gem is the Luna Mimbres Museum in downtown Deming. The town of Deming didn’t have much to offer, but this museum was the best we have ever toured and it kept on going and going – it is filled from top to bottom with very interesting stuff and one whole room devoted to rocks and minerals. We may not have found any rock treasures to keep, but we sure did get to view hundreds of fine examples at the museum. They have so many displays and items to see – give yourself a minimum of two hours, and maybe more to see it all. The museum is staffed by knowledgeable and very pleasant volunteers, who take real pride in the area and their fine museum. For a rockhound, just the area displaying the rocks and gems is totally worth a visit; there is also abundant history of Luna County, and a large display of Native American pottery and baskets and just about everything you can imagine from an era gone by!
We also toured the museum/visitor center at Pancho Villa State park only 3 miles from the Mexico border. The history of the town that the park is located is very interesting. Especially the attack on Columbus, New Mexico by Pancho Villa back in 1916.
Here are a few pictures from the museum