on the road again…| new mexico | kasha-katuwe tent rocks national monument

I bought a new lens and a new filter (used) at a local camera shop in Santa Fe. What a difference!! These rocks were several hundred feet above the trail.
Tent Rocks 4 (1 of 1)
If you find yourself in the Santa Fe/Los Alamos/ Albuquerque area and have some time, this hike is well worth it. In the summer, go early in the day to avoid the crowds and take the Slot Canyon Trail first. Wear shoes w/ good traction, as most of the trail is sandy and rocky…a combination that put me flat on my ass a couple times.

Tent Rocks 78 (1 of 1)

Tent Rocks 6 (1 of 1)
There are parts of the trail, especially in Shelter Cave, that are super narrow, with only room to pass single-file as you scramble up rocks and slip under huge boulders.

Tent Rocks 7 (1 of 1)

Tent Rocks 11 (1 of 1)

Then I accidentally interrupted this little guy/girl's nap...
Then I accidentally interrupted this little guy/girl’s nap…
...much to their chagrin...
…much to their chagrin. Owl is not amused.

Tent Rocks 29 (1 of 1)

Tent Rocks 33 (1 of 1)

In the canyon...
In the canyon…

Tent Rocks 44 (1 of 1)

Tent Rocks 42 (1 of 1)

Tent Rocks 45 (1 of 1)

Nope. That's not a dead end. That's the trail. Just one of many examples of rocks one must scramble to reach the top of the canyon. Also, there were lots of seniors on the trail. Scaling the rocks and taking names. Super inspiring!
Nope. That’s not a dead end. That’s the trail. Just one of many examples of rocks one must scramble to reach the top of the canyon.  Also, there were lots of seniors on the trail. Scaling the rocks and taking names. Super inspiring!
On the other side of those rocks...
On the other side of those rocks…
More of the trail.
More of the trail.
Tent rocks! From the Bureau of Land Management website: "The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash, and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. Tremendous explosions from the Jemez volcanic field spewed pyroclasts (rock fragments), while searing hot gases blasted down slopes in an incandescent avalanche called a “pyroclastic flow.”"
Tent rocks! From the Bureau of Land Management website: “The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash, and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. Tremendous explosions from the Jemez volcanic field spewed pyroclasts (rock fragments), while searing hot gases blasted down slopes in an incandescent avalanche called a ‘pyroclastic flow.'”
The trail gradually climbs in elevation through the cave and into the canyon. The last bit of the trail climbs 600+ feet to the top of the canyon, where you can see the tent rocks from above.
The trail gradually climbs in elevation through the cave and into the canyon. The last bit of the trail climbs 600+ feet to the top of the canyon, where you can see the tent rocks from above.

Starting to climb higher.
Starting to climb higher.

 

Getting closer...
Getting closer…

Almost there...
Almost there…

Tent Rocks 62 (1 of 1)

Tent Rocks 60 (1 of 1)

My least favorite part of the trail. The trail starts again on the top of that ledge, which is about chest-high. I had to hoist myself up and just ignore the fact that, behind that brush, is a sheer sandy drop into the canyon below. Those that know me well know two things about me are true: 1) I am way more comfortable in 4-inch heels than I am in hiking boots and 2) I do not do well with heights. To say I am beyond proud of myself is an understatement.
My least favorite part of the trail. The trail starts again on the top of that ledge, which is about chest-high. I had to hoist myself up and just ignore the fact that, behind that brush, is a sheer sandy drop into the canyon below. Those that know me well know two things about me are true: 1) I am way more comfortable in 4-inch heels than I am in hiking boots and 2) I do not do well with heights. To say I am beyond proud of myself is an understatement.
View from the top.
View from the top.
The same tent rocks from above.
The same tent rocks from above.

Tent Rocks 69 (1 of 1)

From the Cave Loop trailhead. Luckily, I did not encounter any snakes...
From the Cave Loop trailhead. Luckily, I did not encounter any snakes…

Tent Rocks 52 (1 of 1)

Top of the Slot Canyon Loop trail seen from below
Top of the Slot Canyon Loop trail seen from below. I still can’t believe I was up there.
The cave for which the trail is named.
The cave for which the trail is named.

Tent Rocks 73 (1 of 1) Tent Rocks 74 (1 of 1)

Tent Rocks 75 (1 of 1)

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s