Tent Rocks National Monument

Day 7 - October 6

Halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is a new national monument, Tent Rocks, and that is our destination. One of the women in the KOA office told us how to get there and was unaware of its national monument designation. She used to go there with a book and sit on the ridge and enjoy the view and the day, and said no one knew about it.
New Mexico Rv Trip: Hike at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Hike at Tent Rocks National Monument When we arrive, the parking lot is nearly full! So much for anonymity. The place is run jointly by the federal government and the Cochiti Pueblo which surrounds it. The area was formed from volcanic eruptions over a period of 100,000 years, beginning 6.8 million years ago. Itís all tuff - soft, porous rock - easily eroded by wind and water. The name of the monument comes from the shape of many of the rocks.
Tent Rocks National Monument
There are two trails and we take the longer one, the one that goes to the top of the ridge. The trail follows what appears to be flash flood washes for most of its length. New Mexico Rv Trip: Trail through slot canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Trail through slot canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument
Trail through slot canyon
New Mexico Rv Trip: Trail through slot canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Trail through slot canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Trail through slot canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument
Then it emerges from the rock and climbs up to the ridge. New Mexico Rv Trip: Trail climbs up to the top of the ridge at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Trail climbs up to the top of the ridge at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Trail climbs up to the top of the ridge at Tent Rocks National Monument
Climbing up to the top I wonder why they're call "tent" rocks?
Huffing and puffing, we are greeted by marvelous vistas at the top and we feel we cav see forever. We sit under a juniper tree and have our lunch. New Mexico Rv Trip: Views from the top of the ridge at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Views from the top of the ridge at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Views from the top of the ridge at Tent Rocks National Monument
Views from the top
On the way back, we detour onto the other trail, which winds through juniper and pinon and sage past a cave that apparently was used by cowboys as a shelter. This cave looks natural, though often caves can be carved into the rock, as many early inhabitants did as part of their cliff dwellings.
New Mexico Rv Trip: Cave trail at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Cave trail at Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Rv Trip: Cave trail at Tent Rocks National Monument

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