Describing the Tent Rocks National Monument in Cochiti Pueblo New Mexico as beautiful, is an understatement. With rock formations unlike no other, the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks is deserving of its National Monument status with its majestic sights and views, especially from the top.

Two different geologic processes formed the rock layers at Tent Rocks, volcanic activity that resulted in igneous rock formation, and wind and water erosion and deposition that resulted in sedimentary rock formation. The layers you see in the area are a mixture of these two types.

About 7 million years ago, explosive volcanic eruptions occurred in the southern part of the nearby Jemez Mountains. White and silvery pumice and ash ejected from numerous vents fell from the sky to form an igneous rock called “tuff.” Other eruptions threw out larger fragments of igneous rock called “rhyolite,” which ranges in color from light to red.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is about an hour drive from Albuquerque or Santa Fe. It is quite a way off of I-25, but totally worth a visit.

If you have a GPS, the place is not hard to find.
Tent Rocks National Monument

Begin the hike.

Just few meters from start of the trail, few small formations are evident.
Tent Rocks National Monument

Take the challenge.

Once you see this sign, take the long Canyon trail. It goes to the very top of the cliff!
Tent Rocks National Monument

Start the walk.

You won’t be alone. When you visit in the afternoon, expect to be in the company of many other tourists.
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Through crevices.

The challenge starts the moment you go through crevices. It may feel creepy if you are claustrophobic. Some crevices can be so narrow that only one person can go through it at a time.
Tent Rocks National Monument

Tent Rocks National Monument

Tent Rocks

Stop and look around.

Along the trail, stop and enjoy the rock formations that surround you.
Tent Rocks National Monument

Tent Rocks National Monument

The ascent.

Halfway through the trail, the ascent begins. I believe this is the most challenging part of the climb.
 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Look back.

Before reaching the top, look behind you and see a peek of what you’d see on top.
 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Rest stop.

Few meters before reaching the peak, most visitors stop here to catch some air and take photos.
 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Finally!

You made it to the very top. The view of the rock formations is unparalleled. From here, you will see a plethora of amazing sights.
 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Wait, there’s more.

Walk hundred meters more to the very end of the trail.
 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Not for the fainthearted.

Dare to go to the edge. Relax. Enjoy. Lay down. Take photos (of course).
 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

At the top, you can stay as long as you want.

The trail isn’t a loop. So going back, you have to follow the same route.

Through crevices.

 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Pose with the tree.

If you have not taken a photo with this huge and old tree on your way to the top, this is your last chance.
 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Notes.

– No restroom along the hiking trail.
– When visiting on hot summer months, bring plenty of water. One bottle is not enough!
– Apply some sunscreen.
– The trail is not stroller-friendly.
– If you have vertigo, you may want to consider the shorter trail. Or you can take the longer trail and walk at least the first half.
– Spare at least two hours for the long trail. This includes all the stops for picture taking.

With a modest $5 entry fee, this gorgeous place should not be missed when visiting New Mexico!

Travel contact.

Address: Cochiti Pueblo, NM
Phone Number: 505-761-8700

Season/Hours.

Fall/Winter (November 1 to March 10)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Gates close at 4:00 p.m.

Spring/Summer (March 11 to October 31)
7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Gates close at 6:00 p.m.

Holiday Closure Dates: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Cultural Observance (spring)

Admission fees.

Private Vehicles – $5
Groups: Up to 25 individuals – $25; 25-100 individuals – $100
Schools: No fee. Day-use permit required from BLM.
Sold and issued at entrance: Senior Pass – $10; Annual Pass – $80; Military Annual Pass – Free; Access Pass – Free

Find your way.

After visiting the Tent Rocks, visit the Bandelier National Monument as well.

Will you travel and visit the Tent Rocks?

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See more of my New Mexico travels.

See also: My other travel adventures.

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