The power and creativity of Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me. Living in the American west, it is impossible to deny the landscape-changing ability of the simple elements of wind and water. At Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument a millennium of geologic activity has left behind a panorama of childhood fantasy in immovable hard rock form...
In this instance, volcanoes were the geologic phenomena responsible for these larger-than-life cone-shaped rock formations. Softer pumice lays protected underneath hard rock caps and makes and while there is a lot of scientific exploration going on there, the tent rocks may really be there just to provide an idyllic hiking background.
The trail up is quite sandy, starts out wide and then narrows. There are obstacles to maneuver around (and through). Start off with a peaceful feeling of patience as there are coves and side turns that kids crawl into and then find themselves transported into other imaginary worlds. As a parent, how you can we deny them that?
Eventually the trail does begin to climb and rocky stairs are carved into a series of switchbacks. It does get steeper in elevation, but, again, give yourself plenty of time (and take plenty of water) and you'll make it where you want to go.
The view from the top is incredible! Looking down over the path you've taken will feel momentous and the fairytale landscape stretching out in front of you will bring a child-like smile to your face. The trip back down is always easier, but take a moment to look out over this New Mexican vista and appreciate it's diversity. All too soon you'll be back down in the dry brown and green, but for this moment, let your eyes take in a panoramic treat.
Visited a place as idyllic and fairy-tale like as the Tent Rocks?
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The tent rocks are about 1 hour
north of Albuquerque.
The trail does level and widen into a plateau at the top.
There is plenty of room to rest, look around, and marvel.
There is, however, no guard rail,
so just be mindful of where your children are wandering.
Watch for interesting wildlife along the way-
we spotted an enormous hairy spider in the middle of the road
1/4 mile before we slowly rolled alongside it