Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument


Looks like a tent city, doesn’t it?  Naming Kasha-Katuwe ("white cliffs" in the Pueblo language) Tent Rocks National Monument was one of President Bill’s (again, if you are from Arkansas, or lived there as long as I did, everyone is on a first name basis) last things to do before he left office in 2001.  It is a GREAT find that we saw signs for as we drove to Cochiti Lake on Friday, and then it was recommended by follower Rick Dorr on our first post from Cochiti Lake. 


The “white cliffs” are not just white, they are layered with lines of grey and red and other shades too…but mostly they are white.  But wait, what is that up on the mountain?


Why, it is ET.   And all this time I thought he went back home!


Here is another angle of ET that you can see near the parking lot.


There are two walks at the main stop, the Cave Loop, and the Slot Canyon Trail.  To get to the Slot Canyon Trail, you have to walk half of the Cave Loop.  I ended up doing the Slot Canyon Trail until I got to the end of the “slot canyon”, and then I turned back.  At least when I came out on the other end of the slot I got some cell phone bars, so I texted Marcia to let her know where I was and how I was doing.  By this time I had walked just over an mile, and I was doing just fine.


As I got closer to the slot, I was able to get a few picture of more “tents”.


Here is the entrance to the Slot Canyon Trail.  Found it interesting that they have a “no wheelchair” sign because I would not take a wheelchair on the first 1/2 mile…and past this point is absolutely impossible.


As I entered the slot canyon, the temperature seems to drop a good 5-10 degrees…I like that, even though it is only 85 degrees outside the canyon.  


The walls start to close in, and you really get to see the detail of the makeup of the rock.

3d     3e

The pathway curves around left and right and left again over and over.  When there are no other people around, it is very quiet, and very pretty.


The walls get very tight at times, and there are barriers which need to be climbed over.


The canyon then opens up…..

3h     3i

…just to tighten up with more and more obstacles to climb over.

4a     4b

And the twists and turns seem to go on forever.

4c     4d

But finally you come out of the slot canyon, and the beauty of the surrounding cliffs can be seen in their fullness.  It was here that I got cell phone, though very weak, only a few steps from coming out of the slot.  I did not go much further, it does start to climb and eventually you have an overlook of the area…but I did not go that far.


As I turn to go back, I see this above the slot, and to the right.  How a tree grows from inside a rock is still beyond my imagination.


Of course, I had to include a nice tree picture for Marcia, who waited, with Skruffy, in the car.  They are so insistent that dogs don’t go back into the monument, that not only did I have promise that our little service dog would stay in the car with Marcia the whole time, they asked for identification on Skruffy to show she was a service dog…..I guess they did not get the word from the DOJ about the ADA rules on service dogs and the two questions that may be asked.  I just pulled our little service dog card out of my wallet and left it at that.  Which is why Bubba stayed in the motorhome, because when we drove up to it on Sunday on our way out to get Greek food, the guy said that we needed to have proof that the dog is a service dog.  Some fights are just not worth fighting…..


Sure enjoyed the hike, would have been better if the trail allowed for Marcia’s GoGo, but we know that is not possible on all trials.  As I started out I heard this father tell his son the following:  “…I am just glad I looked down there, because that was the biggest Rattler I have ever seen….”.  That was almost enough to keep me off the trail, but I figured they must have been walking in areas where they did not belong….glad I did not let it scare me off the trail.

Wednesday we head eastward…perhaps we will make Texas.


  1. Slot canyons are my favorite! What a beautiful place! I had never heard of this one....

    1. Yes, I am finding that I like these slot canyons too...nice and cool in there!

  2. This is a totally cool place!! Like Sherry. I've never heard of ti either. This is my kind of place. I love that it is so close to Santa Fe. This is on my list. So glad you shared it, Dave. Thanks!!

    Some battles aren't worth fighting, as you said. Good you chose the high road though I am sure it wasn't easy:)

    1. Had we not had to fight so hard to get her into the Condo, I wouldn't have thought another thing about it...but I am happy that I bit my tongue. Hope you all enjoy it next time you are in the area.

  3. I hadn't actually said it yet but John & Pam are right, I've never heard of it either so I'm thrilled to put it on my list. Slot Canyons?? OH YEAH! Great pictures! Many thanks!!

    1. I know you will enjoy it. Not sure where you can get "free" or almost free camping in this area, but the park we stayed at was nice, and with Marcia's park pass (since she is of age and I am still lacking a few years) it was only $10.

  4. I love that place. So glad you found it. It's one of those little known spots.

  5. I sure enjoyed it. Was surprised that they had a gate-keeper, many times it is just a honor pay thing. They use a lot of Native Americans, which is good since they own most of the land around it.


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