Poncho Villa State Park and Rock Hound State Parks, New Mexico

Museum at Poncho Villa State Park, New Mexico

Nice Desert Campground on Former Army Outpost

If you like the desert and not a lot of people then this is your campground. The rates vary from primitive ($4) to site with water ($10) to site with water and electric ($14) per night. It is adjacent to the very small town of Columbus, New Mexico and approximately 3 miles from the Mexican town of Puerto Palomas, Chihuahua which seems to be a safe afternoon adventure.There are two museums in town: 1. at the campground(pictured above) that centers around General Pershing's foray into Mexico and 2. a railroad and cowboy museum across the street(pictures below) from the campground. There are several nice restaurants in town but they are all closed by 6 p.m.


Small Inviting Campground 

The remote southwest corner of New Mexico, south of I-10, is one of the least-visited parts of the state - there are few roads or villages, just lifeless mountain ranges separated by desert basins, dry lake beds and lava deposits. Several ghost towns are hidden in remote places up in the mountains, relics from mining activity early this century. Silver and to a lesser extent gold were mined quite extensively, and the geological richness is evidenced by various minerals and semi-precious gems that may be found across the region. One such location is the Little Florida Mountains, 11 miles southeast of Deming which is an easily reached site, close to the interstate.

Part of the hillside has been incorporated into the Rock Hound State Park, and this makes an ideal overnight stop for cross-country travelers, even those not particularly interested in collecting rocks. The park has a particularly fine campground, with good facilities, spacious sites and commanding views over a large area of flat desert land to the west (E&W sites cost $14($4 with annual pass) in 2019). It is unusual in that visitors are encouraged to prospect and remove specimens, subject only to a 15 pound weight limit, unlike most national and state parks where removing natural objects is forbidden.