I’d done my fair share of research: “Things to do in New Mexico”, “Top Places to see in Albuquerque”, etc. etc. As I believe anyone does when they move to a new place..
So last Friday when Jacob and I decided that we needed an adventure out of Albuquerque (as if our 3 month adventure TO Albuquerque wasn’t adventure enough) we decided to head north to the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.
On The Road
We dressed in our most appropriate hiking gear, and packed a light backpack of snacks and water bottles – on the road again.
The drive took us just over an hour, and being a Friday afternoon, traffic was light.
I love riding in the car here.
I almost always “make” Jacob drive so that I can relax passenger side and control music, watch scenery, and navigate. It works well, Jacob loves driving & I love riding in the car, that’s why we got married, LOL.
Not to mention, practically any drive through New Mexico is scenic, unless you hate mountains and desert terrain, then you’d hate it here….
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
We arrived to our destination safely. We were greeted by the rangers who requested the entrance fee of $5. Jacob & I never carry cash, so we had to backtrack to the closest gas station so we could enter. (Only 8 miles, but still.)
When we finally entered, we couldn’t wait to get out of the car and start our hike.
Once you bypass the monument gates, it’s another 5 minute drive up the mountain to meet the trail entry.
We parked the car, grabbed our backpack, and found the trailhead.
There are 2 trail options: one offers a leisure scenic hike, while the next is more of a hike to the top of the mountains. We opted for the latter.
The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks are incredible. I think that pictures will do more justice than words can..
The hiking path starts off easy as you’re led between the rocks. For about 10 minutes the path seems almost too easy, which is OK, but Jacob and I were looking to be challenged today. Not to worry though, soon enough the sandy path turns to steep rocks as we climb upwards.
During our hike we passed a couple of people who, in my opinion, should not have been on the steep hike. Keep in mind, if you’re not prepared for a steep and narrow climb, you’re putting yourself and others at risk.
As you near the top of the mountains the path becomes steeper and more narrow; not to mention, it’s very windy at the top of the mountain so it becomes much easier to lose your balance. For the safety of yourself and others, please make sure you’re physically fit for a steep hike..
Jacob & I passed an older woman who was healing from a broken foot, and was quite obviously struggling up the mountain. It was really uncomfortable to come upon her because I felt like we should stick next to her…she was alone! We asked to make sure she was OK and that she could handle the hike (we weren’t even at the steep part yet…), and she reassured us she’d be fine. The hiking path was slightly busy, and we knew more groups were behind us, so we reluctantly moved on.
It took us about 45 minutes to reach the top, including time for photo ops. Views from the top of the tent rocks are indescribable.
The mountains captivate you. You’ll fall in love with this fresh, cool mountain air.
Jacob & I both agree that this hike has been our favorite hike, to date.
Jacob & I love New Mexico. I’ve never had interest in traveling here before, and maybe that’s the beauty of this place, a real hidden gem I believe.
If you have the opportunity to travel to New Mexico, take it.
Here are my top tips for traveling to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
- TIP: Pack a couple of water bottles & stay hydrated. There are no concessions or water fountain near the park.
- TIP: Bring a small amount of cash for entry into the park.
- TIP: Wear layers! In the mountains, you’ll be both hot & chilly during your hike.
- TIP: Sunglasses, the sun reflects off of the light colored cliffs
- TIP: Bring a camera, you’ll want to capture these views!
- TIP: And as always, be courteous of other hikers. The path becomes steep & narrow in some areas, give hikers their space.
Has anyone else been to the Tent Rock Monument?