As a New Mexico native, I have to admit, I had never made the time to hike Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, until recently. I know, it is almost embarrassing, but I am so glad I made the time to explore my home state and see this beautiful national land mark for myself.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks is located on the Indian reservation of Cochiti Pueblo, and is about an hour northeast from the city of Albuquerque and a 50-minute drive west from the city of Santa Fe. Created 6-7 million years ago from volcanic rock and ash deposits, which with erosion and weathering have created these tent rocks and slot canyons.
The hike up to the mesa, up above the tent rocks is not very difficult and is often busy with hikers, families and kids. Two trails are available to hikers. The Tent Rocks Canyon Trail is slightly longer of the two hikes, a total of 3 miles out-and-back, accompanied with beautiful views along the way. The Cave Loop trail is an easier, flatter mile with similar rocks but with less scenic views. As the trail progresses, you will make your way through narrow slot canyons, with a final 630-foot ascent up to a mesa, where you are rewarded with panoramic views of Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Sandia mountains, and the Rio Grande Valley. It’s spectacular, truly, a must see in New Mexico.
Arrive at the park early, as it is visited frequently and you can end up waiting in line to enter the park as cars are leaving and parking. It is also a good idea to arrive early as the park allows entry between 8 am-4 pm, and often begin closing procedures at 3:30 pm daily or based . A bottle of water may be a good idea depending on the season and time of day of your hike. During the summer months temperatures in New Mexico are known to rise well above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and you will definitely need water.
For more info on the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Canyon Trail, visit the official site of the Bureau of Land Management.
If you are looking for more things to enjoy in New Mexico check out Giggling Springs Mineral Water Pools, in Jemez, New Mexico or Sunrise Springs Resort and Spa both very close to tent rocks and doable within a day.