tent rocks national monuments

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Follow #mypubliclandsroadtrip Stops This Week in BLM New Mexico and Nearby States!

BLM in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas care for 13.5 million acres of public lands, from breathtaking prairies and lush riparian areas to open woodlands and desert peaks – the iconic landscapes of the American West. Join #mypubliclandsroadtrip all week to explore outstanding national monuments and wilderness areas, visit unique historic and prehistoric sites, enjoy a diversity of recreation sites and more!  

Follow posts here on Tumblr all week; see daily recaps of posts on the BLM New Mexico journal: http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/roadtripnewmexico

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Check Out the August #conservationlands15 “Top 15″:  15 Amazing Urban Escapes on BLM’s National Conservation Lands! Close to Home, but A World Away.

1. Alaska, Steese National Conservation Area, Pinell Mountain Trail. Just over 2 hours from Fairbanks, this northernmost of U. S. National Recreation Trails traverses 27 miles of rolling tundra offering day hiking and backpack opportunities.  Come for the summer solstice to view the midnight sun.

2. Arizona, Hells Canyon Wilderness, Spring Valley Trail. A short 25 mile drive from Phoenix, this trail’s relatively gentle grades is great for the whole family. In addition to an array of Sonoran Desert wildlife, the resident burros may be seen along the trail.

3. California, California Coastal National Monument, Point Arena-Stornetta Unit. A 2-½ hour scenic drive from San Francisco through California’s wine country  enables San Francisco residents to escape the city for the small hamlet of Point Arena and its spectacular coastal headlands.  

4. California, North Fork American Wild and Scenic River. Follow the 49’rs and pan for gold in this crystal clear stream just an hour from Sacramento. 

5. Colorado, Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area.  Just an hour from Colorado Springs and 2 hours from Denver, Beaver Creek offers miles of trail as well as fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities. Its lower elevation allows for an extended hiking season in comparison to Colorado’s high-country.

6. Florida, Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Natural Area. Less than 2 hours from Miami and even closer to Fort Lauderdale lies this historic lighthouse and surrounding restored coastal habitats.  Take a gentle walk along a trail and boardwalk to learn about the site’s important role in World War II.  

7. Idaho, Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. Just south of Boise, this bird-watching mecca is close enough for an after work trip and boasts one of the highest concentration of raptors in the world.

8. Virginia, Potomic Heritage National Scenic Trail. Just over 20 miles from the U. S. Capitol, the Meadowood Recreation Area provides a segment of the trail in a pastoral setting.

9. Montana, Pompey’s Pillar National Monument. Drive a short ½ hour from Billings to learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the interpretive center then have a picnic along the cottonwood lined banks of the Yellowstone River.

10. Nevada, Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area. The entrance to Sloan Canyon, one of the most significant cultural resources in Southern Nevada, is almost within sight of the Las Vegas Strip. The area contains a concentration of over 300 petroglyphs.

11. New Mexico, Tent Rocks National Monument. Just an hour from Albuquerque and Santa Fe is an area of magical rock formations that seem to defy gravity. Hike through the unique array of hoodoos and a narrow slot canyon, and then enjoy a picnic under the pinyons. 

12. Oregon, Deschutes Wild and Scenic River. Two hours from Portland, the Deschutes is Central Oregon’s playground. Visitors can fish for steelhead and salmon or raft the exciting whitewater.

13. Utah, Cedar Mountain Wilderness. This vast 100,000 acre area is only an hour west of Salt Lake City.  It is a true wilderness experience with no formal trails.  Hardy-well prepared visitors will be rewarded with solitude and expansive vistas of the Great Basin.

14. Washington, San Juan Islands National Monument. Take a ferry from Seattle and escape to this archipelago of fir clad islands.  The National Monument includes several lighthouses, hiking trails and sea kayak campsites. 

15. Wyoming, National Historic Trails Visitor Center. Located right in Casper, Wyoming off of highway I-25. The Trails Center offers extensive interpretive materials and programs describing the emigrant trails that led to settling of the west.

Join us next month for the September #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover and our Top 15 - Wilderness Adventures on National Conservation Lands.

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@AmericanHiking’s Takeover Continues on My Public Lands Instagram! Check out their information with extra photos here. 

“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.”

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

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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!

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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.

Enjoy Your Public Lands!

The Bureau of Land Management, in conjunction with other agencies within the Department of the Interior, will waive recreation-related fees for visitors to the National System of Public Lands for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Jan. 20).

The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument 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.

Photo: Bob Wick, BLM-California