We had a wonderful visit from Don’s cousin Cindy this past weekend. On Saturday, we ventured out to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, which is about 50 miles north of Albuquerque.
The Cochiti Pueblo has always considered this area a significant place. “Kasha-Katuwe” means “white cliffs” in the traditional Keresan language of the pueblo.
The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred six to seven million years ago and left pumice, ash and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick.
While fairly uniform in shape, the tent rock formations vary in height from a few feet to 90 feet.
As the result of uniform layering of volcanic material, bands of grey are interspersed with beige and pink-colored rock along the monument’s cliffs.
Over time, wind and water cut into these deposits creating canyons and arroyos, scooping holes in the rock, and contouring the ends of small, inward ravines into smooth semi-circles.
We took the Canyon Trail, a 1.5-mile trek up a narrow canyon with a 630-foot climb to the mesa top for clear views of the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, and Sandia mountains and the Rio Grande Valley.
Definitely one of my favorite places in New Mexico.