The park lies in the Mimbres River valley, half way between Deming and Silver City along US 180, then 3 miles northeast on NM 61 and 1 mile down a side road. The day use fee (2013) is $5, or $10/8 for camping, paid at a self-service entrance station, next to which is a short spur road that climbs 100 feet to the top of a small hill that gives a panoramic overview of the formations and the surrounding empty Chihuahuan desert prairie. The main road ends at a visitor center, astronomical observatory (the dark nighttime skies hereabouts make for good star gazing), desert botanical garden and the campground - this has 52 well separated sites (10 with electricity), some nestled in alcoves right among the rocks, all furnished with fire gills and picnic tables. The sites are distributed all around the formations, which are encircled by a 1.5 mile dirt track.
The rocks are light brown to pink in color, often covered by various shades of lichen, and eroded into many wonderful shapes and forms. They are the result of wind and water erosion of compacted tuff, formed by eruption of a nearby volcano about 35 million years ago. The eruption was from the Emory Caldera, centered near Hillsboro Peak at the southern end of the Black Range, and which has left other volcanic residues spread across 50 miles of this part of the state, including nearby Table Mountain, recently (2005) added to the park after being purchased from a local landowner. Little vegetation grows around the boulders, just the occasional oak or emory tree - between most are either bare, sandy chambers or narrow, slot-like passages.
City of Rocks Hotels
The nearest towns with hotels close to City of Rocks State Park are Deming
(28 miles) and Silver City