stillhowlyn's travels 2008 travel blog

TENT ROCKS NAT'L MONUMENT!

POSING FOR THE BACKGROUND!

1ST DAY UP THE CANYON!

2ND DAY UP WITH SHARON & RODGER!

INTO THE ROCKS!

SLOT FEVER!

LIGHT, SHADOWS, LINES!

AND STEEP!

AND A TIGHT SQUEEZE!

BALANCING ACT!

PICTURE PERFECT!

HOWARD'S HOODOOS!

IS THAT THE TOP!

A REST IS NEEDED!

AT THE TOP!


Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument has been at the top (literally and figuratively) of our "To Do" list since Bill and Carol in Denver sent us pictures of their visit here a year (two?) ago! Staying at Cochiti Lake we are only a few miles to the park entrance which is surrounded by the Pueblo de Cochiti who partners with the Bureau of Land Management to protect this complex and spectacular geologic and scenic national monument. At an average elevation of 6,000+ feet the remarkable processes that shaped this landscape provide an outdoor laboratory and opportunity to study and observe, hike and enjoy! And the photo opportunities are endless and dramatic!

The cone-shaped tent rock formations vary in height up to 100 feet, many capped precariously with flat boulders, and are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago. Over time, wind and water cut into these deposits creating narrow slot canyons and arroyos, scooping holes in the rock and contouring the ends of small, inward ravines into smooth semi-circles.

In the midst of the rock formations, vibrant green leaves and red bark of Manzanita shrub, Ponderosa pine and Juniper stand in sharp contrast to the muted colors of the rocks, and provide a habitat for many species of animals.

The National Recreational Trail contains two segments: The Cave Loop Trail is 1.2 miles and rated easy and the more difficult Slot Canyon Trail is 1.5 miles one way up a narrow canyon with a steep, 650 ft., climb to the mesa top with excellent views of the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Sandia mountains and the Rio Grande Valley.

As luck would have it we did the Canyon trail twice since the camera battery died about half way thru the Slot. We pondered on to the mesa top and a very gracious man offered to take pictures and email them to us. A few days later we went back with Rodger and Sharon for our second trip to the top and then hiked the Cave Loop trail on our way down. Our necks were stiff from constantly looking up, backs, knees and feet were hurting from climbing both up and down but it was certainly worth it - truly fantastic!



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