Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks NM

You probably have never heard about Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. At least I didn't until I started researching places worth visiting in New Mexico. And I am so glad that during my random Internet readings I somehow managed to stumble across photos of this beautiful place!

Kasha-Katuwe NM is located more or less half way in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe and is well worth the small detour. We had an absolutely great time exploring the interesting rock formations (see photos below) that form this small park. The tent rocks, as they are called, were formed by the combined force of the volcanic explosion and erosion that is pretty much unique to this place. There are two hiking trails within the park, the canyon trail and the tent rocks and the cave loop, that let you get up and close to the rock formations. We took the canyon trail first, and returned through the tent rocks and cave loop, which took us around 2.5-3h, even though we were stopping often to take pictures and enjoy the views.

Entering the canyon trail:

Newlyweds :)

At times the canyon was getting pretty narrow:

As you climb up the back of the canyon, you can look down on the tent rocks:

Blooming cacti near the end of the trail:

The views from up on the mesa top were absolutely great in all directions! Notice Cochiti Lake in the distance.

Tent Rocks up close: