Features > General > Tent Rocks Offers Spectacular Views

Tent Rocks Offers Spectacular Views

Looking up from the path in the narrow slot canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument , our eyes followed distinct layers of sediment that blasted from volcanoes eons ago. Those layers of ash, pumice and tuff deposits – in some places more that 1,000 feet thick “ morphed into mysterious cone-shaped mounds visible from the trail head. Similar in shape, the tent rock formations vary from about five feet to over 90 feet in height. Because of wind erosion, some of the tents' caprocks have fallen off or crumbled, but the majority of the spherical toppers remain intact. It's no wonder ancient civilizations, some of which date back more than 4,000 years, lived in the shadow of Kasha-Katuwe, or white cliffs. The Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado noted the area while traveling through the territory in the 1500s and pioneers later settled in the shadow of the strange, mystical peaks.

Photo by Furious George

Photo by Furious George

For $5 per vehicle, hikers are allowed day privileges to hike and explore the canyon and surrounding area. We brought a picnic lunch, which we ate before setting off on the Canyon Trail. There are two main issues with this hike: the gravel road to the trailhead is horrendous and the canyon is so narrow and steep in short spurts that getting up (and down) posed problems for our group. Be aware the last quarter mile is a steep 650-foot climb “ or scramble “ to the top of the Pajarito Plateau. Though winded, we still enjoyed spectacular views of most of north-central New Mexico: the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez and Sandia mountains as well as the Rio Grande Valley lay below us. The plateau is a good place for a snack and water break before the descent.

Area details:
Located less than 40 miles from Santa Fe and about 55 from Albuquerque on Cochiti Pueblo tribal lands, one of our avid hiker friends says Tent Rocks is from another world. If a day trip won't suffice, nearby Cochiti Lake Reservoir Area offers camp sites and RV hookups.

By Anna Philpot

Anna | Sep 8, 2009 | Category: General

AllStays Pro Online

Pure information, faster, no ads, privacy, full screen maps, more filters, layers for weather, traffic, biking, transit, over half a million search combinations. Join now

Feature Categories

  • Air Travel
  • Best of
  • Boondocking
  • Camping
  • Cruise
  • Family
  • General
  • Green
  • Haunted
  • Luxury
  • Money Savings
  • Overnight Parking
  • Pet-Friendly
  • RV Tips
  • Security
  • Technology
  • Train
  • Travel Tips
  • Unique Getaways
  • More Posts


    Featured Apps

    AllStays Hotels By Chain
    Find all kinds of beds near you. All the chains. The only app that puts you one button from the front desk. The data is stored in the app so you aren't waiting to download information (or ads). Works with or without service.
    Camp & RV
    The number one camping app. From resorts to hike-in spots. Amenities, maps, truck stops, rest areas, Wal-mart and casino parking and much more.

    Most Recent Posts


    ⇑ Top