Enchanted Again in New Mexico

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.

 

 

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36 comments

  1. Looks like an incredible alien landscape! .. love interesting rock formations like this .. Never been to New Mexico, looks like a great place to go hiking Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Garth & Phil…New Mexico has many cool landscapes to explore and the food and people are great! Hope you can visit one day.

  2. I have always dreamed about slot hiking somewhere like this. I am yet to try it but it looks incredible. I love the landscape and really wish I get to go back to New Mexico at some point.

    1. It was such a great experience..NM & Utah have fabulous places to hike and some are slot. Hope you can visit one day you will love it!

  3. What an interesting place to visit with its colors & rock formations. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Park is a place I have not had a chance to visit but will put it on my list next time I’m in Albuquerque. Looks like the best time to go hike there is early in the morning. Great photos and information. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Stephanie…I thought Tents was great and beautiful scenery. By the time we starting heading back down it was getting busy so I would suggest early.

  4. Those rock formations look very similar to ones you find in Cappadocia Turkey, where I believe they’re called Fairy Chimneys. I love weird geological features and this definitely seems to qualify.

    1. Thats exactly what Nancy Pittman said about Turkey. I have to go check that out! It really looks and feels like your in another world, so cool.

    1. Hi Angie…All of New Mexico is fabulous, it’s one of my favorite states. Hope you will visit when you have a chance to come to the states.

    1. Hi Melody..probably Sante Fe & Old Town in Abq, if you hv more time the scenic Cumbres Toltec Train is fabulous and the Enchanted Circle (see my post on that). You won’t go wrong wherever you land!

  5. How funny my husband and I were just talking about going to New Mexico tonight over dinner, and what do I find? Your post! The rock formations at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Park look so much like Cappadocia in Turkey. Will definitely see them if we make it to New Mexico.

    1. Hi Nancy..you will love NM…Tents tends to get overlooked a little off the beaten path..checkout my post on Cumbres Toltec Train too!

  6. It looks great, it is on my bucket list to see all the US National Parks, so hopefully one day soon I will get to visit this one and do the hike 🙂

  7. We just passed through western New Mexico and didn’t have any idea this places existed. Thanks for the article. This will certainly be on our list next time we are headed that way. Hiking through slot canyons is terrific.

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