Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Overlooking the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks

The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is one of the more unknown National Monuments in the U.S. The cone-shaped "tent rocks" are the result of erosion following a volcanic explosion millions of years ago, making for some weird and peculiar hoodoo formations.

 
A map showing the hike in the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument park

Distance: 3 miles round trip

Elevation: gain 570 ft

Difficulty: easy/moderate

Time: 1 hour one way

Trail Condition: sand/rock

Dog Friendly: no

Resrooms: at trailhead

Season: all

Entrance Fee: $5 parking fee

(subject to change) 

 

HOW TO GET THERE:  

From Albuquerque, take I-25 north for 32 miles and exit onto NM 22 at Santo Domingo/Cochiti Lake Recreation Area (Exit 259). Follow the signs on NM 22 to Cochiti Pueblo and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Turn right off NM 22 at the pueblo water tower onto Tribal Route 92, which connects to Forest Service Road 266. Travel 5 miles on a gravel road to the national monument’s designated parking/picnic area, and trailhead.

 

From Santa Fe, take I-25 south for 17 miles then Take exit 264 for NM-16 toward Cochiti/Pueblo. Turn left onto NM 22 heading north and follow the signs on to Cochiti Pueblo and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Turn right off NM 22 at the pueblo water tower onto Tribal Route 92, which connects to Forest Service Road 266. Travel 5 miles on a gravel road to the national monument’s parking area.

 
a map leading to the park from santa fe , new mexico

 

CAMPING INFO: The closest campground is at Cochiti Lake Recreation Area, located around 23 miles east of the monument.

HOSTELS IN THE AREA: There are a couple hostels in the area, the closest is the Santa Fe International Hostel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the other is the Route 66 hostel in Albaquerque, the dorms cost $20 and $25 respectively.

 
looking through the tent rocks on the lower trail
 
a cave in the side of the cliffs along the cave loop trail in the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Views along the Cave Loop Trail

There are two hiking trails - The Cave Loop trail,  which is 1.2 miles long and will take you near the base of the tent rocks and the other is the Slot Canyon trail which is a 3 mile out and back trail lined with hoodos and striated rock formations. The Slot canyon trail ends atop a mesa top overlooking the Tent Rocks and surrounding valley.

Get an early start: In the summer the temperatures here have been known to reach 100° F, so start your hike early and bring plenty of water to keep hydrated.

 
A unique tree showing it's roots as it grows above the groundSlot Canyon Trail 
 
slot canyon in the park
 
Looking up in the slot canyon at the sky above
 The little miniature slot canyon on the trail was incredible!
 
A photo of my girlfriend looking over tent rocks in the park near the trail summit
 
near the end of the main trail in the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument park
We had a great time hiking the slot canyon trail, once you get to the top of the trail, the views are pretty amazing! 
 
Overlooking the beauty of New Mexico from the top of the trailHave you been here? If so I'd love to hear your thoughts! Post in the comments section below.
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