New Mexico Desert, Rocks and Mountains

We loved the huge sites at Rock Hound State Park in New Mexico.  The rugged slopes of the Little Florida (flor-ita) Mountains are the backdrop for this peaceful campground at 4,500 to 5,400 foot elevation.

Collecting some souvenir rocks is encouraged and I couldn’t have been happier!  We hiked on the steep hillsides a few times and found some nice jasper and other rocks.  I enjoyed washing, sorting, identifying and admiring them.  Heaven for a rock lover!

The stunning scenery of the Spring Canyon unit of the park is home to Persian Ibex which were introduced in 1970 by The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.   The male ibex weighs up to 150 pounds when fully grown and has huge curved horns. Their hooves are adapted to enable them to climb nearly any rock surface.  We went to Spring Canyon twice during our stay.  The first day, we hiked up a ridge but saw only a tarantula and praying mantis – no ibex!

The next morning after a full moon, we got to Spring Canyon before the gates were opened, hoping to spot the ibex before checking out of the campground and moving to Arizona.  Thinking we missed them again, we heard rock sliding on the hillside above us where more than 50 ibex were hanging out in the first morning sun coming over the peaks!  We went a short way up Lover’s Leap trail but the ibex were skittish.  What a magical treat to see them jumping on loose rock, perched on tiny ledges on the hillside! Next time, I will bring my long lense with me!


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