The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico is a remarkable outdoor laboratory, offering an opportunity to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes. The national monument, on the Pajarito Plateau in north-central New Mexico, includes a national recreation trail and ranges from 5,570 feet to 6,760 feet above sea level.
The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. Tremendous explosions from the Jemez volcanic field spewed pyroclasts (rock fragments), while searing hot gases blasted down slopes in an incandescent avalanche called a “pyroclastic flow.” In close inspections of the arroyos, visitors will discover small, rounded, translucent obsidian (volcanic glass) fragments created by rapid cooling.
The complex landscape and spectacular geologic scenery of the National Monument has been a focal point for visitors for centuries. Before nearby Cochiti Reservoir was built, surveys recorded numerous archaeological sites reflecting human occupations spanning 4,000 years. During the 14th and 15th centuries, several large ancestral pueblos were established and their descendants, the Pueblo de Cochiti, still inhabit the surrounding area. Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs” in the traditional Keresan language of the Pueblo.
“Did you know #AmericanHikingSociety hosts over 50 trail stewardship trips every year? In 2014 alone, we organized 57 trail projects across the country working with federal land agencies like #BLM to identify areas that need the most care. We equipped 449 volunteers with the tools they needed to put some love back into our trail system. That comes out to 17,960 hard working hours put in by volunteers. The success of these volunteers can be seen across 285 miles of trails that were improved, including the BLM’s Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument pictured here!
The monument is a remarkable location to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes. The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash, and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. A national recreation trail and the wheelchair-accessible Veterans Memorial Trail offer unique hikes and picturesque views. Volunteers spent the week building water diversions on a one-mile section of this heavily used trail. These water diversions will help prevent continued trail erosion and ensure that the trail is accessible and safe for future hikers.”
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico
You guys!!! VISIT THIS PLACE!!! My favorite nature view is filled with trees that are vibrantly green and leafy, so that has dictated the type of places I have always sought out for travel. This trip to New Mexico was my first experience (other than driving through) with a more desert-style landscape. I completely learned to appreciate the stunning beauty of this type of environment. These pictures don’t even do the place justice. If you have a chance to visit Tent Rocks, I definitely encourage you to do it. I was completely in awe. The views were unbelievable. Every turn we took I just wanted to stop and stare all around!