Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rincon- Palm Park

These are two interesting sites north of Las Cruces. Across the highway from the tiny town of Rincon there is an old barite mine which may yield some interesting specimens if you search diligently. You may have to dig as well. It also seems to be serving as dumping area.If you follow the road that parallels Rincon Arroyo and eventually climbs a small peak,you may also find jasper and some strange ,small,petrified twigs in a creamy matrix.Several trails lead away from the large pit ( barite mine) to smaller prospects. One can be followed  west to access an area with several dry waterfalls and small caves. It's here where petroglyphs are found, including several of the goggle-eyed Tlaloc.There are also grinding holes along the watercourse and one of the alcove/caves has a ceiling blackened by many fires. Exploring the nearby hills will reveal more sites that were most likely used as shelters by ancient peoples.
  Palm Park is several miles north, reached by taking the dirt road on the east side of the highway at the Hatch exit.There are no palms here ,and I've seen it referred to alternately as Palmer Park.The "park" aspect may come from the fact that it's a small almost entirely closed little basin in these, the southern reaches of the Caballo Mountains.There are a few petroglyphs here. Some interesting petrified wood, and other cryptocrystalline quartz is also found.There are old mines (maganese) and roads to explore. I've also met up with arrowhead hunters as well. One time while descending a little box canyon, I found ample evidence that mountain lions are resident in these hills. I also met an old man on foot,in another nearby canyon, who said( in Spanish) that he was looking for gold.This struck me as a bit odd not because he appeared to be in his late seventies, or that he was prospecting for gold,but because there were no other vehicles parked anywhere in the vicinity.  Could he have walked the dozen or so miles from Hatch? Update: to see my photos of the petroglyphs at the Rincon site see the Rincon Petroglyph Site blog from 2013.

Palm Park

Palm Park
 Palm Park


Desert Dweller said...

And yet another diversion for an upcoming Abq-El Paso drive!

"Palm"...perhaps an anglisization of "Palmilla", for Soaptree Yucca, or some other yuccas nearby? (tho none in your pics)

BigRedHorse said...

Would you be able to give a bit more specific directions? We were out there today and had a difficult time scouting. I would like to go back again to hunt some more.

Anonymous said...

I guess maybe palm park. We exited the Hatch exit and took the dirt road to the right. After that we seemed to just be trucking along and didn’t seem to be able to find the petroglyphs. Maybe they were father along 067 than where we went.
We did find the ones near the barite mine.

Devon Fletcher said...

You have to drive around 6 miles from the exit to where the road turns back to the south and down off the mesa into a basin( the "park"). Drive another mile and a half or so and park as close as you can get to the cattle tank( the road may be washed out before you can make it all the way).From the tank walk south for a 1/2 mile or so and start looking around on the boulders on the hillside to your left.