- Type: Nature & Wildlife
NileGuide Expert tip:
Bring water and trail snacks and remember this: the air is thinner at 7,000 feet elevation - take it easy and drink more water than you normally do.
- The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a must-visit for anyone new to Santa Fe. For a bit of offbeat geology and top-notch hiking, drive forty miles southwest of the Santa Fe Plaza to one of the most interesting geological formations in the Northern Hemisphere. Named for their tepee-, or tent-, like shapes, these white rock formations are the curious result of ancient volcanic action for over 1.5 million years. Tent Rocks was named a national monument in 2001. Because it is on Cochiti Indian tribal land, it is open for day use only. A not-too strenuous 1.3 mile hiking trail leads up through a slot canyon to a lookout point where the tent shaped rocks can be viewed from above. Take Interstate Highway 25 southwest about twenty miles towards Albuquerque to the Cochiti Exit. Signs will direct you from there. Pets are not permitted.
The national monument includes 4,645 acres of public lands located 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe and 55 miles northeast of Albuquerque, with the most direct access from Interstate 25. From Albuquerque, take the exit for Santo Domingo/Cochiti Lake Recreation Area (Exit 259) off I-25 onto NM 22. Follow the signs on NM 22 to Cochiti Pueblo and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Turn right off NM 22 at the pueblo water tower (painted like a drum) onto Tribal Route 92, which connects to Forest Service Road 266. From the fee station, travel five miles on a gravel road to the national monument's designated parking/picnic area and trailhead.
From Santa Fe, take the Cochiti Pueblo Exit 264 off I-25 onto NM 16. Turn right off NM 16 onto NM 22, and follow the signs to Cochiti Pueblo and the national monument.
A portion of the five-mile access road to the national monument crosses Pueblo de Cochiti tribal land. Along with the pueblo, neighbors in the vicinity include the Santo Domingo Indians, the Jemez Indians, private landowners, the Santa Fe National Forest and State of New Mexico. Please respect these landowners and their property.
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