Monday, March 19, 2012

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

The Pueblo de Cochiti (the town closest to this area) has always considered this area a significant place. "Kasha-Katuwe means "white cliffs" in the traditional Keresan language of the pueblo. In 2001 it was designated a national monument. This park was the highlight of our week. We had been looking for a place to hike and we found it at the Tent Rocks. We took the more difficult Slot Canyon Trail which is a 1.5-mile trek up a narrow canyon with a steep (630-ft.) climb to the mesa top. It was a challenging hike for sure.We sometimes had to twist our bodies to get between the slots of the canyon or do a bit of climbing do get around boulders, sometimes our acrobatic skills on the trail also included doing the splits!
The original material of the rock formations was volcanic ash and pumice deposits. Over time it became sedimentary rock which wind and water eroded into the hoodoos and rock tents now seen in the park.
 At the mesa top we had great vistas of the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Sandia mountains as well as the Rio Grande Valley. It was also interesting to look down at the large rock formations which filled the canyon.

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