With a sunrise like this, how could it not be a good day?
We stayed at the Corps of Engineers campground on Lake Cochiti near the Cochiti Pueblo which had electric and water hookups. Many people stay in Santa Fe and make a day trip to both Tent Rocks and Bandelier National Park. Lake Cochiti was just a couple of miles down the road from Tent Rocks making an early start much easier.
Arriving at the monument at 7am as they opened and the sun rising gave us the entire place to ourselves until we were leaving. We took the Cave Trail to the Slot Canyon Trail which is a 1.5 trek through the slot that finished with a 630 foot climb to the mesa top. The views were breathtaking. It was a nice 4.2 mile hike before things started heating up and the wind started blowing once again. This is one of our favorite slot canyon hikes so far.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks was designated a national monument for protection of these unique geological landscapes. It is know for its light colored, cone shaped formations that are the results of eruptions from the Jemez volcanic field. It is located 35 miles south of Santa Fe and 52 miles north of Albuquerque.
Precariously perched on many of the tapering hoodoos are boulder caps that protect the softer pumice and tuff below. Some tents have lost their hard, resistant caprocks, and are disintegrating. While fairly uniform in shape, the tent rock formations vary in height from a few feet up to 90 feet.
The Park's care is shared between the BLM and Cochiti Pueblo.
It was difficult to chose which pictures to use so sit back and check it out. Or you can bypass it all together but why not just peruse the views. It was 1.5 miles long.
I should have brought those knee pads along.
Mike cleared the canyon for me.
We could see the sun rising above us as we walked through the canyon.
We made it to he top.
The Veterans' Memorial Scenic overlook was a 1 mile loop 3.5 miles down a rough road. It had the same views that we had at the top of the mesa. We decided against the drive.
I don't believe I have ever said "WOW" more on any hike before this one. Even with the whitish color of this desert instead of the usual red rocks we are used to, every corner brought a new eyeful.
It has been fun visiting some of the lesser known and visited National Parks and Monuments. We know how fortunate to be able to wander around learning so many things and seeing new places.
It has been fun visiting some of the lesser known and visited National Parks and Monuments.
There is so much more to see in this Jemez area when we return including a waterfall, hot springs and hikes.
We are staying put for a while will not be blogging much. I don't think anyone wants to hear about our visits to the grocery store. I am returning to the hospital in Mesa, AZ one or two days a week for the next few months. I thought I was ready to retire totally a year ago but found Banner Health had a great program for nurses to return for the winter season and leave for six months in the summer.
Mike will be working as a work camper starting in January for 3 months delivering beer, wine and food to the different resorts.
We are in a condo while our trailer gets some maintenance done on it. This place is huge and echoes when we talk but much smaller than the house we used to own. I guess it is all just a matter of perspective.
It has been fun to hear from our followers along the way and brightens our days. We aren't done yet (we hope), just taking a breather. I am sure the itch will hit again sooner rather than later.