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New Mexico's rockhound park.

New Mexico's rockhound park Geodes as big as your head and filled with wondrous colors and designs, jasper in a half-dozen colors, clear quartz crystals, blue agates, white to pink opals--all are among the abundant agems and collectible minerals at aptly named Rockhound State Park in southwestern New Mexico. Just 14 miles south of Interstate 10, the park is a camping or day-trip option for anyone bound for El Paso. October through April are the pleasantest months for a visit.

This small park, on the western slope of the Little Florida Mountains, in one of the rare state parks where visitors are allowed to haul away the scenery. Each visitor may take up to 20 pounds of rocks.

You don't have to be an aficionado to enjoy the park, but most visitors soon fall under the spell of the minerals' beauty and diversity. An exhibit of polished gem-stones at the park entrance shows some of the more common ones-apparently filling much of the hillside.

It's a steep 1/2-mile climb from the camp-ground to the most popular digging site, but minerals can also be found in the valley.

Admission is $3 per car for day use. The park has 29 campsites (2( with a RV hookups), rest rooms, showers, and a dump station. Camping, available on a first-come basis, costs $7 a night, plus $4 for hookups. To reach the park from Deming, take State 11 south 5 miles, then go east 9 miles on Rockhound Road. For more details, call (505) 546-1212 or 894-7472.
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Title Annotation:Rockhound State Park, New Mexico
Date:Nov 1, 1989
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