Monday, August 15, 2016

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks

Today Jean and I went on an adventure.  I had heard that the 4,645 acre monument was known for its light colored, cone shaped  tent rock formations.  Kasha-Ketuwe, means 'white rock' in the Keresan language of thr Cochiti Pueblo people. The guy in the cheese shop that told me about the area said that not many people knew about the rock formations so it was never crowded.  The National Monument is locate 35 miles from Santa Fe and 52 miles north of Albuquergue.  You exit from I-25 at Exit 264 onto State Route 16, turn right off of SR 16 onto I- 22 then follow signs to Cochiti Pueblo and the Monument.  This is a National Monument so the America the Beautiful senior pass applies.    There is no drinking water so remember to take it with you and I suggest walking sticks.  We had our walking staffs that our friend, Paul, made for us for our birthdays and was very glad we did.  The hike will take you 6,760 feet above sea level.  

The tent rock formations are the result of explosive volcanic eruptions that occurred between 6 and 7 millions years ago.  There are two options to hike.  The Cave Loop Trail is 1.2 miles and is rated easy to moderate.  We took the second option.  The Slot Canyon trail includes a 1.5 mile trek up a narrow canyon.  We were very adventurous and kept going up a steep 630 foot climb to the Mesa top.
Yes, we had to climb over these rocks
Yes, this was how narrow some of the path was
There was Ponderosa Pine trees with roots exposed.  Looked as if the trees were trying to climb out of the canyon

Precariously perched on many of the tarring hoodoos are Boulder caps that protect the softer pumice and tuff below.  We found ourselves going though tunnels, up ledges, climbing over rocks to get to the top where we could we for miles.  They have railroad ties step to help you get to the top the quarter mile to the top.

Exhausted YES, glad I did it YES, YES

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