Hike at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Details

Distance

3 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by The Outbound Collective

This 3-mile hike with minimal elevation gain lets you explore Incredible desert hoodoos and beautiful slot canyons. Take in expansive views from the mesa top.

Hiking at Tent Rocks is a must-do for anyone in the northern New Mexico area. It's an accessible trail that gives you incredible rewards with little effort. The cone-shaped "tent rocks" are the result of erosion following a volcanic explosion 6-7 million years ago, making for some incredible and unusual hoodoo formations.

The trail starts out at a well-marked parking lot. There are restrooms and picnic tables here should you need them. There are two trails - a shorter loop that stays at the base of the rocks and a longer one-way route that will end with huge views from the mesa top over Tent Rocks and the surrounding area. To take this route, stick to your right and follow the clearly marked signs.

The trail will meander through an arroyo with beautiful old trees dotting the landscape here and there, with the canyon walls rising up above you on either side. You'll soon come to a narrowing of the trail where it twists and turns through the narrow slot canyon. Be very mindful of thunderstorms when hiking in monsoon season (mid-June to mid-September) and do not hike if there is any danger of flash floods in the slot canyon. Exiting the slot canyon the area will open up more and you'll get closer to some massive hoodoos. The trail starts to climb from here for a short while until you reach the mesa top, dotted with gnarled old juniper trees.

Take a break and enjoy the view up here before heading back the way you came. If you're heading north to Santa Fe, stop by Second Street Brewery for a great beer and green chile cheeseburger.

Getting there: From Santa Fe, take the Cochiti Pueblo Exit 264 off I-25 onto NM 16. Turn right off NM 16 onto NM 22, and follow the signs to Cochiti Pueblo and the National Monument. The parking lot is on your right about five miles after the fee station. Note that this is a day use only site and the gate closes at 4pm during winter and 6pm during summer.

This adventure was featured in The Outbound's Santa Fe County is Adventure True - Summer Lookbook 2019

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Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Scenic

Nearby

Reviews

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Beautiful Scenic Hike

I drove four hours to hike here and it was 100% worth it. Very easy hike along slot canyons. Great for all ages! I went during a weekday and there were a lot of people so I expect it can get crowded on the weekends. Especially since there are portions in the slot canyon where only one person can go through at a time. No dogs allowed and they only accept cash at the entrance gate!

Worth It!

Our group of outdoor-toddlers, very inexperienced and advanced adult hikers all enjoyed this one! The hike to the top becomes substantially more difficult about 2/3 the way- hiking poles are useful, and be sure to bring plenty of water! That said, you are rewarded with an unmatched view at the top. A complete 360 of mountains, dessert, and nearby towns!

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

about 4 years ago

Awesome Hike For Kids

This was one of our first hikes as a family in the Albuquerque area, and it did not disappoint! It was awesome being able to see my 2 year old run the the slot canyons and not worry about her running over a ledge or getting into any dangerous plants!

787 total saves

4.9/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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