Providence Cone is located east of Deming, jutting upward from the surrounding flatlands. Locals know it as Rattlesnake Peak and there is a good reason for that name. As long as one stays alert Providence Cone makes for a good wintertime field trip as twenty-eight hardy GCAS members demonstrated on February 2, 2020.
Features of interest in the easier, more level portions of the area include a few difficult-to-find petroglyphs and grinding holes, and an area of rubbing rocks where megafauna like mastodon and bison groomed themselves some 10,000 years ago.
A report by E. Breck Parkman, Senior State Archaeologist for the California State Parks, mentions in passing:
Other rubbing rock occurrences have been identified elsewhere in North America. In the Southwest, LeRoy Unglaub and Ekkehart Molatki have documented rubbing rocks at Cornudas Mountain, Alamo Mountain, Providence Cone, and Akela Flat in New Mexico. They have also found them at Hueco Tanks in Texas. The Hueco Tanks and Cornudas Mountain sites were first proposed as rubbing rock occurrences in the 1940s (Lang 1941, 1947).
The hardier among our GCAS group scaled Providence Cone to find even more petroglyphs. (That's our Marilyn Gendron giving her interpretation of a spiral petroglyph in that photo up there.) The group's reward was a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire Las Cruces west mesa and more. Thanks go to the GCAS's own Torie Grass for sharing her photo with us!