Today in our Summer Bucket List series, we take you to the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, managed by BLM New Mexico. The lands are located in north-central New Mexico between Albuquerque and Santa Fe on the Pajarito Plateau. As the name implies, Tent Rocks is made up of stunning cone-shaped rock or “tent” formations.
Two trails are available to get a spectacular view of the tent rocks, Slot Canyon Trail and Cave Loop Trail. Slot Canyon Trail is the longer of the two. It is a steep, 1.5 mile long trail to the top, where there is a grand view waiting. The Cave Loop Trail is 1.2 miles long; it is an easier walk that has views of a cave and rock formations. The Veterans’ Memorial Scenic Overlook also provides beautiful views of vistas, canyons, and mountains.
The monument’s manager, Jackie Leyba, is working hard to make Tent Rocks the best he can for visitors. The bathrooms are kept clean, the trails are maintained, the rangers are helpful and friendly, and there are projects in the works to make more improvements to the monument. According to Leyba, the visitors leave great reviews about their experience at the monument. Nearby the monument, visitors will also find Cochiti Lake, fishing, camping, swimming, hiking, and a golf course.
During my visit to Tent Rocks, I was fortunate enough to hike the Slot Canyon Trail and the Cave Loop Trail. I would recommend them both! I was also able to see the Veterans’ Memorial Scenic Overlook and the serene view it offered. The scenery and experience was worth braving the hot weather to see.
There were families and groups of all ages visiting Tent Rocks. One of the Rangers told me about a 96 year old man who climbed to the top of the Slot Canyon Trail. If he made the trek, I think that means it’s worth a look!
For more information, visit the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument website: http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/rio_puerco/kasha_katuwe_tent_rocks.html
Story and photos by Emilee Cantrell