City of Rocks State Park

We went to City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico for the unique climbing opportunities. Instead I spent most of the time stalking some great horned owls. Over the week that we stayed, I took over 1200 photos of owls. On my initial edit, I trimmed it down to about 200 that I really liked. This still seemed excessive, so I got it down to 55. Finally 19 made the cut. Of course this is about City of Rocks as a whole, so I will start there.

View of the park from the nearby lookout. (sorry for poor quality, taken with my phone)
View of the park from the nearby lookout. (sorry for poor quality, taken with my phone)

City of Rocks is located about halfway between Silver City and Deming.  Silver City had a nice little food coop that we went to several times to get some groceries.  They also have a Wal-Mart and Albertson’s.

City of Rocks makes for a good jumping off point to explore Gila Cliff Dwellings, especially if you don’t want to drive your huge RV through the winding mountain roads.

Continue reading City of Rocks State Park

Advertisements

Campsite Breakdown – Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo, NM

Where we stayed:  Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

Why we went there:  We needed a base of operations for our time at White Sands.  The only camping they allow is back-country.  Oliver Lee is about a 25-30 minute drive to the Dunes.

How accessible for RV’s: You can fit about any sized rig in any site.  There are 44 total sites.  About 7 are reservable.  A lot of tilt to most of the sites because it’s in the foothills.  One note, if you have GPS, DO NOT turn on Taylor Ranch Rd like our Garmin and Google Maps told us to.  It becomes a dirt road that gets fairly rough.  If you follow the signs it will take you in on Dog Canyon Rd.  (We had to disconnect so I could turn the rig around and take Dog Canyon.)

Are there hookups:  There is a dump station/water on the left upon entering the park.  16 sites in loop A have 30amp and water hookups.  We stayed in loop B which has a few water spigots between sites and no electrical.  Love our solar panels!

How much does it cost:  For someone staying long-term in New Mexico, they have a great camping pass program.  As an out-of-state resident we could buy a pass for $225 which would allow us to camp every night for a year in a state park, with a 14 night limit per stay.  If we were going to be staying in the state for a while, it would be a heck of a deal.  As it was, we paid $10/ night for our site.  To get electrical it’s $14 ($4 with the annual pass).

Quiet Hours: 10pm-6am.  Wasn’t too big of an issue as most everyone was staying in loop A with electrical.  There was a generator running a few sites down, but it could really only be heard when we were outside.

Why we loved it:  Pretty cheap, with the option to be unbelievably cheap.  Sites were nice and spread out.  Right at the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains.   Dog Canyon hike leaves from the visitor center.  Free warm showers.  Close proximity to White Sands National Monument.  Lots of rabbits.  Potential for other wildlife too, we just didn’t see any.

Things we didn’t like:  Just so I have something to put here, I would say the sites could be more level on a whole, and quite hours could be longer 😉

Would we go back if in the area: Yes

View of our campsite.
View of our campsite.
Sunrise over the Sacramento Mountains
Sunrise over the Sacramento Mountains
Arial shot of the campground taken from Dog Canyon Trail You can faintly see it if you zoom in at the valley.
Arial shot of the campground. (Taken from Dog Canyon Trail)
Saw about a dozen of these guys at night. It's a little eerie because they eyes reflect light, so it's easy to spot them if you just sweep a light around.
Saw about a dozen of these guys at night. It’s a little eerie because they eyes reflect light, so it’s easy to spot them if you just sweep a light around.
A pool of water on the nature trail near the visitors center.
A pool of water on the nature trail near the visitors center.

7 Legs and the Valley of Fire

Lake Mead

We finally made it to our long-term camping spot while we are in the Las Vegas area. We decided to stay at Lake Mead National Recreation Area because it has a couple of boondocking sites and it gets us out of the city.  We can camp for 15 days at one site and then go to the other one for another 15 days if we want.  You can’t beat 30 days of free camping.  It’s a huge area and it took us about an hour and a half to get to our first boondocking site from Las Vegas. The road got a little rough at the end and we unhitched the car so Sweet B could maneuver easier. I drove the car ahead and as I was driving I saw something on the road.

Tara thinking: Hmm that is somewhat spider shaped. Man if that was a spider it would be huge.

Oh look it just moved. Oh it is walking. That huge spider shaped thing is walking across the road. Come on and meet 7 legs