Enchantment awaits you with a visit to New Mexico. I discover something new and captivating each time I visit. This trip we were off to the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Park, approximately one hour west of Albuquerque. The park is on the Pajarito plateau. A 1.5 mile moderate hike up an ascending loop trail awaits.
We arrived early in the morning so we were by ourselves for the moment to wander this mysterious looking landscape. As we began hiking through the high canyon walls you observe the unusual conical-shaped domes, known as hoodoos, like mushrooms growing out of the rocks or hat shaped pillars that look like they have eyes watching you. You feel as if you have truly stepped into another world. The walls are an array of color from pinks to beige to white.
We found ourselves winding through narrow slots (slot hiking), petrified trees and sandy steps continuing up. We took our time to enjoy watching the birds and all the gorgeous colors throughout so, it took us a couple of hours to reach the top. When you finally reach the pinnacle of this beauty you are standing on top of a long jutted rock that towers over the entire park. You sit at the very edge with your feet dangling and you can see miles and miles of mountains in every direction. The canyon walls below look even more stunning. Sit back and enjoy lunch or a snack and take in as much of this captivating scenery as you can. Try to go early before the crowds. You will enjoy a solitude touched only by the canyon birds.
If you are not so adventurous, you can still enjoy the park by taking the lower 1.2 mile loop. The park is open year round, the winter has abbreviated hours. Make sure to take water and a snack with you, no vending machines here.
Cochiti is the closest town to the park. This may be a smaller park but just as fascinating as many in our wonderful country. The land of enchantment never disappoints especially with stunning scenery. You will want to visit again & again as I do.
*TIPS: This park requires an entrance fee. This is a moderate hike with very narrow areas and lots of steps.
Location: Take the Cochiti Reservoir exit from I-25 to NM Route 22 and follow the signs to Cochiti Pueblo. Turn right onto Tribal Route 92 (connects to Forest Service Road 266). Travel 5 miles on a dirt road to the Tent Rocks parking area.
**Next time we head north to ride the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad.