Originally Posted by halfwright
My wife and I decided to stay in southern New Mexico this winter. We bought an out of state permit for $225. WE stayed 2 weeks (the maximum allowed before you have to move) in the City of Rocks state park near Deming NM and then moved to Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus NM. It is an armpit, in my opinion. There is nothing in the small town of Columbus. No movies, no ATT service--two cafes--both bad.
The park itself is awful. A frost killed all the cactus two years ago and none of it has been cleaned up. No sewer hookup in the park, but they do have water aand electric. It is dusty and windy. If I were you, I would avoid it if I could and that should be easy, as it is on the road to nowhere.
I stayed in the park last year, and found it nothing like you state. The campsites are carved out of the desert and are landscaped very nicely. There is a great little museum on site, where I learned way more about the area and Pancho Villa than I was every taught in 16 years of schooling. There is also a dump station on site.
Did you happen to go across the border? If not, you missed a local treat, The "Pink Store" is fantastic place with very upscale Mexican pottery and decorative pieces. The staff is fantastic, and they even offered me a margarita while I shopped. The also have a restaurant with very good food and a mariachi band. The day I was there, about 20 Americans were there celebrating a birthday.
The showers/restrooms were clean and well attended, and they have a camp host available if you need any firewood, or other assistance.
If you like the desert, and peace and quite, you'll be hard pressed to find a better park, and for $8/day (with the pass) it would be near impossible to find any comparable value that includes water and electric.