Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tent Rocks, New Mexico (aka Kasha-Katuwe)

Cochiti Lake Park is run by the Corps of Engineers and very closeby is a National Monument called Kasha-Katuwe, more commonly known as Tent Rocks. Yes, another area of rock formations, different from other areas I’ve hiked. These rocks are shaped, for the most part, like Indian teepees. Some of them have boulders perched on the top.

There are two trails in the park, the more difficult one was a mile and a half to the top. I decided to do the difficult one first since it included a canyon slot, climbing rocks and an increase in elevation of over 600’, which was mostly during the rock climbing area. The canyon slot was very interesting, a trail between boulders that are the height of buildings at least 4 stories tall. The trail through this area may be as close as 2-3’ and then it opens up into wider areas 20’ or more in other places.


Then, suddenly, you exit the canyon slot into an open area with more rock formations towering over even the highest pine trees. The trail continues with a slight incline and a few rocks to climb over. Soon, the trail is littered with boulders to climb around or over and it becomes steeper.

When the trail finally levels out, it’s on the top of the mesa with mountains on all sides. The day was clear, so there was a great view of the mountains.


The downhill hike was so much easier since gravity helps. It took me much less time coming down than going up, besides I had already taken most of my photos. By then, the light had changed and I got a different perspective on the formations.

I hiked the other trail, a very easy walk through the lower part of the park near some of the rock formations. It was not as dramatic or impressive as the other trail, but way less strenuous. Great exercise for the day, with both trails, I walked/climbed about 4 miles. 



  1. I haven't seen pictures of these formations before. They are really unique.

  2. They really are different - I just love all these rock formations, cliffs and other geological stuff I'm seeing!