Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks and Slot Canyon
|This hike gives you a chance to see the unique geologic formation known as tent rocks. If you do this hike, you also go through a slot canyon and up onto the mesa, leading to great views of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains.|
|Hike data||Waypoints||Maps||Getting to the trailhead||About the hike||Plants along the trail||Comments|
When we hiked it:
|Time it took us:||2:15.|
|Usage (people/hour):||0.00. Usage not recorded. In general, usage is heavy.|
|TRNMCV||Cave entrance||Shelter cave at Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks and Slot Canyon hike|
|TRNM||Trailhead||Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks and Slot Canyon trailhead|
|TRNMX||Trail point||End of trail on mesa top at Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks and Slot Canyon|
|TRNMY1||Trail junction||Trail junction at Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks and Slot Canyon|
Maps:Geohack online map list Paper maps:
|Map name||Cartographer||Year||Scale||Topo map?||Online access||Notes|
|Albuquerque New Mexico||USGS||1983||1:100000||Y||from sar.lanl.gov (free)|
|Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah||Automobile Club of Southern California||1998||1:0||N||Arizona Strip Interpretive Association (purchase)||Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.|
|Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument||Kirt Kempter and Dick Huelster||2009||1:3598||Y||Public Lands Information Center (purchase)||This map is full of additional information about the geology of the area, including a geologic map.|
|Los Alamos||BLM||2003||1:100000||Y||Public Lands Information Center (purchase)|
|Santa Fe National Forest||US Forest Service||2004||1:126720||N||From the National Forest Store (purchase)||West half|
|Wildernesses of New Mexico||US Forest Service||1981||1:1000000||N||No online copies.||Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.|
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Getting to the trailhead:
Exit I-25 at the NM 22 exit (Cochiti Lake), and head northwest. 0.75 mi after you cross the Rio Grande, turn left (southwest) on NM 22 toward Cochiti Pueblo. Go 1.7 miles and turn right on Tribal Route 92 (connects to Forest Service Road 266). The turn is easy to see, because of the large water tank painted like a drum. The road is (or turns to) dirt, and you go 4.8 miles (but you see the monument entrance sign after only 0.5 mile). The parking area and trailhead are on the right.
About the hike:
Heading out from the trailhead, the wide, sandy trail forks almost immediately. We took the canyon trail first, and returned through the tent rocks and cave loop.
Our friend Michael Wester is the person in the photo looking at the trailhead information sign.
We hiked past this unique ponderosa long before this area was a national monument. You go past it as you head uphill toward the cliff base.
A little past the Y-branched ponderosa you meet the tent rocks and cave loop again (GPS TRNMY1).
Just past TRNMY1 is the canyon entrance. In the photo, Michael Wester is walking out of the canyon.
As you walk through the canyon, it varies from being just shoulder-width to being a bit wider.
When you get out of the narrow part of the canyon, look up and to your left to the mesa top. This is where the trail will end, and you will be looking down on where you are now in a few minutes.
When you get to the back of the canyon, the trail heads up the side of the canyon. You can see some of the tent rocks for which this area was named.
As you climb up the back of the canyon, you can look down on the tent rocks, and see the layers.
The views from up on the mesa top are great. Notice Cochiti Lake in the distance.
When you get to the mesa top, a trail leads down to the tip of the mesa. Along the way, you can look down into the canyon.
At the end, you can see the trail that you took to get to the canyon.
Along the way, we saw this guy (gal? I don't know how to sex spiders :-) hiking also. No need to be afraid. It would not bother you unless you bothered it.
Another critter we shared the trail with was this lizard.
Return the way you got here to the cave loop (GPS TRNMY1). This time, take the loop, which goes past this shelter cave, and takes you close to some of the tent rocks. before returning to near the trailhead.
Plants we saw along the trail:
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