City of Rocks State Park – New Mexico Tours
Rare volcanic rock formations grace this fantasy world of strangely shaped columns.
Wander around these ancient formations on our small group Arizona and New Mexico tours and experience the playfulness of these strangely formed boulders. A perfect place to relax, there are picnic tables and an informative visitor’s center available here. Driving up to this area provides an interesting experience in itself – slightly raised hills and dry grasslands surround these rocks for miles and miles. Still, as you take a nature walk through this volcanic marvel keep a lookout for the details that make this area unique. Pretty flowers, oak trees, lizards and thirty-five species of birds can all be spotted here. Native American history places Mimbreno Indians in this are from about 750 to 1250 A.D., followed by Apache. Later this area served as a part of the Mormon Battalion route. Nowadays it’s a great place to walk, camp, picnic and explore and sees many visitors.
Formed by a volcanic eruption over 34 million years ago, then slowly eroded to its present shape, this area is one of only six like it in the world. Known to be a part of the Kneeling Nun Tuff the boulders reach 40 feet high and little pathways lead between them, perfect for taking our small group on a guided nature walk, or for you to wander off to experience the silence and monolithic boulders on a more individual level. The rocks were formed of a mixture of pumice, volcanic ash, gas and coarser rock, all of which was compacted while still hot, leaving solid rock.
As the layer cooled cracks were formed. Over centuries these cracks were eroded further, leaving the interesting pattern of walkways now seen in this park. Upon closer inspection of the rock you might notice small grains and other little rocks within the boulders. These represent a rhyolite composition where tiny grains are surrounded by even finer material. Some of the larger pieces provided an accurate method of dating these formations- by measuring the amount of argon gas released from melting the potassium rich feldspar crystals. City of Rocks State Park provides a unique geologic example of New Mexico.
A picnic on our small group New Mexico tours at this isolated, soaring point gives you a chance to observe the surrounding landscape. We will all bring a picnic up to this lovely area and spend a leisurely lunch surrounded by this grand view. For those who would like to tour additional telescopes this will provide an opportunity to wander. Around your picnic area you can spot a variety of interesting plant life, including yucca, cactus and ocotillo. From here we will continue on to Tucson, Arizona for the night.
Arizona and New Mexico Tours – Read about the above attractions, close to New Mexico’s City of Rocks State Park, that are also visited on our small group tours.
If you have any questions about our exciting Southwest vacations please feel free to contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. This tour can be scheduled as a custom group tour, or go to our dates page to find out departure times for our scheduled tours.