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City of Rocks State Park
Make P.A. your cool and breezy headquarters as you explore New Mexico's amazing City of Rocks!
Formed of volcanic ash welded together 35 million years ago, then sculpted by wind and water into rows of monolithic blocks, these incredible rock formations give City of Rocks its name. Hiking trails, a botanical garden and a public night sky observatory add to this unique destination.
A Rocky Vacation
Life on the Rocks
History on the Rocks Until 1200 A.D., Mimbres Indians roamed this area, leaving arrowheads and pottery shards as evidence of their culture. The park also lies within the traditional homelands of the Chiricahua and Warm Springs Apache. Spanish explorers and settlers arrived in 1500 and mule trains loaded with copper from the nearby Santa Rita mine passed nearby on their way to Chihuahua from 1804 to 1834. After the Mexican War of 1846-48, the Mormon Battalion blazed a trail south of the park to link newly acquired New Mexico and Arizona with the eastern United States.
First Astronomical Observatory
Southern New Mexico is famous for its clear night skies and New Mexico State Parks established its first astronomical observatory at City of Rocks State Park. The observatory is a 12' x 16' building with a roll-off roof and is equipped with a 14" Meade LX-200 telescope. The entire facility is solar-powered and includes a 20-inch monitor, which enables visitors to view images of the planets, stars and constellations transmitted through the telescope.