Hiking Tent Rocks in New Mexico | #hiking #deserthike #tentrocks #newmexico #NM #hikingtentrocks

A Fall Hike in Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

The hike at Tent Rocks National Monument begins with a sandy shaded path into the canyon. The early morning air is dry and warm, but the breeze keeps us comfortable. We walk from shadow to shadow, flanked by dry wiry shrubs and short spikey cacti. Trees stretch themselves tall, their sparse upper limbs reaching out greedily to catch morning sunlight. 

Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations
Tall sparsely branched trees reach toward the sun out of the canyon Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations #wholewidenworld

The towering rock is composed of layered bands of whites, creams, and dusty oranges. I trace my fingers along the the long, deep grooves and think of the ancient glaciers carving their way through the earth at a snail pace.

Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations #wholewidenworld

By our feet, lizards dart from coveted sunbathing spots into their shady cacti sanctuaries. Overhead puffy white clouds drift slowly, obscuring a deep azul sky.

Desert cacti bloom little yellow flowers at Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations #wholewidenworld
Looking up at the cloudy blue sky from the bottom of the canyon in Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations #wholewidenworld

As we walk on, the walls of the ravine narrow so sharply that one has to squeeze by in single file, or clamber over and under large boulders to move forward.

Tight spots at Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations
Having to crawl under tight spots between boulders was a fun part of Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations #wholewidenworld

The trail ends abruptly at the end of the canyon wall and suddenly the easy walkable path turns into a calf busting climb for about 750 feet straight up. The man-made stone steps are placed perfectly to blend in and look natural.

Oh but it’s worth the climb

View from the top of Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations
A spectacular view from the tops of Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations
View from up high at Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations

Looking over the ridge is almost dizzying. It’s hard to believe we came all the way from down below. In this moment I feel so glad I made the climb.

The tent rock spires from Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations

We return back the way we came, this time having the opportunity to see the tent rocks we missed on the way up. We marvel at the geological magic made here in this place and thank the universe for a chance to see it on such a mild day.

Loretta and Jeremy at Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations
Seeing bands of sediment in the Tent Rocks National Monument - Entering the cavern | Whole Widen World | #desert #deserthike #newmexico #newmexicohike #tentrocks #rockformations

Check out our other posts on this fall road trip through Colorado and New Mexico

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