Visited: March 2018
Duration: 2-3 hours
We arrived at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument around 8 am. We were one of the first cars in the parking lot. We entered in the South part of the park coming from Hwy 22.
At this part of the park there are 2 Trails; Cave Loop Trail (1.2 miles) and Slot Canyon Trail (1.0 miles) with steep climbs and caverns to crawl through. We did both trails and neither one was a disappointment to us. As a matter of fact this place was “in tents”. Geology puns never get old!
Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs” in the traditional Keresan language of the pueblo. An important part of this area’s geologic story is the formation of the cone-like, vertical tents called “hoodoos”. We love hoodoos and just couldn’t miss this park on our trip. We fell in love with them at Bryce Canyon National Park, and this place was a great reminder of why.
Hoodoos are products of volcanic eruptions and erosion. These eruptions happened 6 to 7 million years ago leaving pumice, ash and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. If you look close at the formations you can see small, black, glass fragments in the layered deposits. These are obsidian or called “Apache Tears”.
Over time wind and water erosion have cut into these deposits creating what we see today. Isn’t nature awesome!!
After our hikes we headed back to the car and picked up some Junior Ranger packets out of the information stations located near the parking lots. The kids filled these out while we ventured back to the Cochiti Visitor Center at the corner of Hwy 22. There, we were able to find a magnet and were told that we could earn our rangers badges and cancellations back at the ranger station we just passed. Oops. 🙂
We ventured back to the station and the Rangers were thrilled to see us. We got passport cancellations, and patches for everyone (including mom and dad). The rangers were very fun and we really enjoyed getting our badges and chatting with them. Great group of people. Awesome patches!
Overall we really enjoyed our time at this stop. This park isn’t listed in the National Park Passport book, we lucked out by reading blogs online or we would have never found this gem. It is like a mini Bryce Canyon. We recommend stopping by for a hike and great pictures if you are in the area.
Have you been to Kasha-Katuwe? What was your favorite part?? We loved it all.