New Mexico has a ton of scenic hikes and at first I didn’t know where to start. I had seen pictures of canyons, but driving from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, it wasn’t as obvious as I expected. Our hotel in Santa Fe gave us a list of several hiking trails for beginners to advanced outdoors enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the staff wasn’t helpful and seemed really care-LESS to give us options. Fortunately, I spoke to the shuttle car driver outside of the hotel and he told me his favorite place in the area is Tent Rocks. He praised the geology and the appearance of the canyon when it rains. Well…it wasn’t raining, but I was motivated to be captivated by the features he described.
The next day we drove from Santa Fe toward Albuquerque to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. We arrived at about 1:30 pm and the staff (which are all volunteer) has the entrance blocked because the parking lot was full. Bear this in mind as you will need to wait for people to leave before you can enter. We waited about 15 minutes, but we have already decided that the next time we visit, we will go first thing in the morning.
We chose to do the Slot Canyon Trail as it goes a little higher up and was supposed to be a bit more challenging and less busy. Whichever path you choose, know that both trails are clearly marked and well maintained. You will not get lost. We saw families with toddlers taking in this adventure as well. The trail got quite narrow at times and sometimes slippery, so exercise caution along the entire route. This place was another example of God’s beauty and I was mesmerized the entire time. Rocks tell the tale of the earth’s history. Hiking through this national conservation you will see the volcanic drama that took place once upon a time.
Parking: $5 cash only
Time to complete the Slot Canyon: 1.2 Miles; 45 minutes up and 50 down (including the time we took to stop in shaded areas and take pictures)
Tips: 1. Arrive early in the day.
2. Bring and drink plenty of water.
3. Wear closed toed footwear. I saw at least 4 people wearing sandals.
Leave a comment and let me know what some of your favorite trails are.