on the road again…| new mexico | kasha-katuwe tent rocks national monument September 28, 2015September 21, 2015 jaclyn michelleLeave a comment 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. 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. 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. Then I accidentally interrupted this little guy/girl’s nap… …much to their chagrin. Owl is not amused. In the canyon… 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… 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.'” 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. Getting closer… Almost there… 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. The same tent rocks from above. From the Cave Loop trailhead. Luckily, I did not encounter any snakes… 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.