As part of our Martin Luther King Jr. extended weekend road trip across northern New Mexico, my friend Natalie and I woke up early Sunday morning to explore The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.
We passed through the entrance toll booth with my national parks pass around 9 a.m. without waiting in line to our surprise. We were admitted and proceeded down the road to the parking lot. After a quick bite of breakfast from the back of my car at the trailhead, we were on the path into the canyon.
John and I had tried to visit the tent rocks during our trip to Albuquerque for the International Hot Air Balloon Festival, but we were deterred by a 45 minute wait at the entrance gate. Natalie and I did very little research into what this area would be like, and we were blown away by what we saw.
The Tent Rocks were by far the most unique rock formations we saw all weekend for many reasons. To start, they are volcanic remnants layered by lava flows from nearby volcanic explosions. We let our imaginations wander around the thought of what it would have been like to see the landscape burning, bubbling, and forming.
We then started to think more about the years of erosion that created the landscape we stood among. It is a landscape ripped and worn by wind and water. We wandered through the resulting space between each tent rock.
The trail then took us past a cave believed to have been carved out by human hands thousands of years before, and now, we were more curious than ever about the place we were exploring.
We were only able to take the Cave Loop trail, because the Slot Canyon trail had been closed due to snowy and icy conditions. Even though we didn't get to see the entire preservation, what we saw was more than enough to stoke our curiosity.
We spent about two hours walking, stopping, taking pictures, and questioning the history of this mesmerizing area before we completed the loop and were back at the car. It was one of the coolest ways to start the day, and we were so glad we had woken up early enough to avoid the crowds and see the sunrise. The early morning start left us with the perfect amount of time to explore our next stop: Meow Wolf!
One thing that never ceased to amaze us during our four days in New Mexico were the landscapes. Everywhere we went was uniquely different than the last. We went from mountains to valleys to near desert-like terrains within a couple hundred miles, and of all that diversity, the Tent Rocks was the most unique place we saw.
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Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!