Outside the South

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

New Mexico has some pretty incredible hiking opportunities, and I seriously loved Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.

This National Monument is located on the Pajarito Plateau in north-central New Mexico, about 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe and about 55 miles northeast of Albuquerque. This makes it the perfect day trip from either city and easy to incorporate on a trip around the state. It is also famous for its incredible geology!

Tent Rocks received its name from its cone-shaped rock formations. These formations are the product of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago. While relatively uniform in shape, the tent rock formations vary in height from a few feet up to 90 feet.

When it comes to hiking, the park is home to three different trails: Slot Canyon (1.5-miles), Cave Loop (1.2 miles), and Veterans Memorial (1-mile loop).

The Cave Loop Trail leads past the cliffs’ base, near some of the tent rocks and small cliff dwellings similar to those found at the nearby Bandelier National Monument.

Related: Bandelier National Monument

The Slot Canyon Trail obtains its name from the “slot” canyon, or long, narrow passageway, about halfway through the hike. It also includes a steep (630-foot) climb to the top of the mesa. It offers excellent views of the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Sandia mountains, and the Rio Grande Valley.

hat // sunglasses // shirt // sports bra // shorts // shoes

The Veterans Memorial Trail is a 1-mile long loop trail. It is rated as very easy and is wheelchair accessible and provides views of Peralta Canyon and the Jemez Mountains.