Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico
By Michael Boyink
We were never as good at hiking as we wanted to be.
We had friends that could do 15 miles in a day.
With their young kids.
They’d come back exuberant and glowing with praise about the trail. Their cameras would be loaded up with print-worthy landscape photos that we just couldn’t get from the driver’s seat while on the “scenic drive”.
We’d mumble about needing to get into better shape.
And change the subject.
Then we visited the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.
Yes, it’s a long name. We just called it Tent Rocks for short.
Tent Rocks made us feel like real hikers.
At least for a day.
Tent Rocks is a National Monument rather than a National Park. From a practical perspective, that means little in the way of visitor centers, interpretive trails, or ranger talks.
But we don’t remember Tent Rocks for what it lacked. We remember it for what it had: stunning views of cone-shaped rock formations set into valleys and framed out with scrub pines.
To earn that view we hiked twisty-turny mostly-uphill trail through valleys, around rock outcroppings, over boulders and through a slot canyon.
But only for three miles.
We came back exuberant. And glowing. With lots of photos.
With renewed hope in our hiking abilities.
After a nap, anyway.
The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is located about an hour west of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Learn more at https://www.blm.gov/visit/kktr.