A Paradise of Outdoor Parks
The great outdoors doesn’t get much greater than this. With three spectacular state parks where you can hike, mountain bike and picnic to your heart’s content, and a fantastic fishing lake in town, Deming is your New Mexico destination for thrilling outdoor adventures.
There’s nothing in the world like the otherworldly City of Rocks State Park. This geological wonder of towers, temples and other rock sculptures was formed in the wake of a volcanic eruption some 30 million years ago. Wander the wind-sculpted, rain-worn formations—some towering 40 feet high— and you’ll see why this park is one of New Mexico’s most visited sites. Located 30 miles from Deming, this is a prime spot for bouldering and rock climbing, as well as hiking and mountain biking. Wildlife roams here, so you may see antelope, javelinas, deer and jackrabbits. Birdwatchers have some 35 species to spot, including golden eagles. Mimbres Indians once dwelled in the area and Spanish conquistadors came later, carving crosses on rocks that some say point the way to ancient buried treasure. Spend a night in one of the park’s campsites beneath a canopy of stars, and you may never want to leave.
A ROCK-HUNTER’S DELIGHT
Get ready to rock it at Rockhound State Park, a prospector’s paradise with 1,100 acres of stunning scenery on the slopes of the Little Florida Mountains. Established in 1966, Rockhound was the first park in the country to let visitors take home the natural treasures they unearthed. And what treasures they are—opals, geodes, jasper, quartz crystal, onyx, agate and many other minerals and semi-precious gems. You don’t have to be a rockhound, though, to enjoy this park. You can hike and bike the rugged mountain slopes and relax with a picnic amid panoramic views. Even the campground rocks it, with spacious sites, sweet scenery and a kids’ playground. Located 12 miles southeast of Deming, the park appeals to wildlife lovers, too, who might see antelope, deer, badgers, prairie dogs and plenty of birds.
PRESERVING AMERICAN HISTORY
Step back into a turbulent time at Pancho Villa State Park. Situated at the border of Mexico, 30 minutes from Deming, the park commemorates the famous raid of Columbus and Camp Furlong by Pancho Villa and his soldiers on March 9, 1916. This first, and last, armed invasion of the continental U.S. since the War of 1812 drew a fiery response from General “Black Jack” Pershing. Despite an 11-month 400-mile pursuit into Mexico with 10,000 U.S. soldiers, Pershing never captured the Mexican revolutionary. His U.S. military expedition was the first to employ airplanes and other mechanized transportation. Inside the historic buildings and exhibition hall, you’ll see the Curtiss JN-3 “Jenny” 1916 aircraft and a 1916 Dodge touring car, like the one Pershing used as his field office. The park also houses ruins of the historic military camp, Camp Furlong. A U.S. Customs House built in 1902 serves as the Visitor Center. When you’re ready to leave history behind, the park offers hiking, picnicking, camping, wildlife viewing and a native plant garden.
Locals Love It
ANNUAL DUCK RACE
Folks have flocked to the Great American Duck Race for four decades. Held in August in Courthouse Park, this fun family event is a must-see. From the Tournament of Duck Parade to the Duck Royalty Pageant, the hot air balloon ascension, the carnival and live entertainment, there’s something for everyone. Cheer on your favorite fine-feathered friends as they race for cash prizes, then try your skill at the Great American Tortilla Toss … because who doesn’t love tossing tortillas?
Table Mountain is City of Rocks State Park’s most popular trail. The moderate, 5.1-mile trail draws hikers and runners. The elevation gain of 669 feet rewards you at the top with gorgeous views. At 3.6 miles, Hydra Trail is another favorite, an easy loop around the park with a 157-foot elevation gain. Happy trails to you!
THE FISH ARE JUMPING
You might not expect to reel in a largemouth bass in downtown Deming, but drop your line in Trees Lake and you just may catch a few. That’s because this five-acre lake takes part in the New Mexico Game and Fish Department’s stocking program, which also includes bluegill, perch, catfish and fathead minnow. Trees Lake, part of Voiers’ “Pit” Park, also offers trails for leisurely strolls and perfect picnic spots.
When it’s time to rest up before your next adventure, Deming offers many options, including hotels with charm and heated swimming pools and motels with affordable comfort and friendly service. Road-tripping in your RV? Check out Deming’s 15 RV parks, where you can relax amid stunning mountain views with every amenity you might need. Staying in an RV park makes it easy to get an early start on your next day’s adventure.
Outdoor adventures can lead to big appetites. Deming’s local restaurants and wineries will make sure you’re well-fed with hearty, delicious fare and award-winning New Mexico wines. Enjoy the laid-back, friendly ambience, where you can unwind and share tales about your adventures of the day.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
For the complete list of lodging, RV parks, campgrounds, restaurants and more, visit: DemingNMTrue.com