Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kashe-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, NM

Between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico is the Cochiti Pueblo and Indian Reservation.  On the Reserve is the Kashe-Katuwe [pron. ??? - I'll guess at KAH-shay KAH-too-way and means White Cliffs] Tent Rocks National Monument, an area of volcanic tuff and hardened pumice eroded into tent or cone shapes.  Only two trails are open - the Cave Loop Trail and the Slot Canyon Trail; the Veteran's Memorial Scenic Overlook and upper Loop Trail are closed due to the recent flooding.  As we hike, not only are we treated to the incredible tent rock formations, but also magnificent views of the valley and surrounding mountains as we hike up the slot canyon to the top of one of the mesas.  What a truly enchanted land.

Cochiti Lake, flooded after the rains of mid-September. That's debris washed down the Rio Grande in the foreground and the roofs of picnic table huts and a washroom in the background!
The Tent Rocks from the Slot Canyon Trail.
The layers of various rock and pumice left by the volcanic eruptions and eons of time.
Brad and Marilyn near the top of the Slot Canyon Trail.
Strange erosion
From the Cave Loop Trail looking up onto the top of the Slot Canyon Trail where we had previously stood. It's hard to see in a small photo, but the Ravens are catching the thermals near the peak in the middle of the photo.

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