Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a beautiful park that is run by BLM and is located on Pueblo de Cochiti land in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe New Mexico. This park has a few miles of hiking trails with the most popular including a slot canyon and a collection of cone-shaped rocks. We did the 3-mile trail through the slot canyon up to the overlook, and it was a great adventure, here is all the information.
- Cost: $5 to enter the park or free with a National Parks annual pass
- Busy on the weekends and in the summer with limited parking. They only let people in when others leave, so get there early or be prepared to wait 30-90 minutes when it is busy.
- Closes at 4 and they have rangers on the trail to get people out of the park when they close.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is located about 45 minutes from Albuquerque or Santa Fe. Once you get to the park, you will wait in line to pay then drive 4 miles into the parking area to begin the trail.
After parking, there are pit toilets near the lot if you need them, then you can head out on the trail.
The Cave Loop portion of the trail is about a half-mile and is relatively uneventful with some nice views of the mountains around you. You can head back on the other part of the loop after doing the slot canyon if you want and it adds about a quarter-mile to the total trail.
If you do decide to do this extra portion, you can see a large cave in the rock and get close to some of the cone-shaped rocks that sit alongside the trail.
From the split for the slot canyon trail, you will be heading back into the canyon on a 1-mile trail each way that is an out and back (2 miles total).
This part of the trail is beautiful though, as the canyon gets more and more narrow as you head back. Eventually, it is a full slot canyon that gets so narrow that it is hard to pass by people in a few sections. It is a ton of fun and provides some great photos.
After exiting the slot canyon, you will start the uphill portion of the hike to the overlook. This part is not shaded, so do note that if it is hot out and bring a lot of water.
The hike bends around as it heads up with a few small sections that require a little scrambling.
You will also see some of the best tent rocks on the trail here, especially when you look back at what you came through. This was my favorite section and even better than the overlook at the top.
The trail switchbacks up and gains more elevation until you get above the canyon and can see out over the vast land surrounding you.
At the overlook, you have a 360-degree view of the area, but I will say that you can’t see many of the tent rocks as easily from here. You will have had so many amazing views on the way up though that it is not a huge deal and you will be excited to have gotten to the end of this trail.
We enjoyed our time in Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, and I highly recommend that you check it out if you are in the area. Let me know what you think in the comments.