Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument – Jemez Springs, New Mexico - Atlas Obscura

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Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

A unique geological area spiked with wind-carved rocks that resemble teepees. 


Unheimlich landforms created by “layers of volcanic rock and ash deposited by pyroclastic flow from a volcanic explosion within the Jemez Volcanic Field that occurred six to seven million years ago.”

Kasha-Katuwe means white cliffs in Keresan, and this area of white tent-shaped rock formations gained the status of being a national monument named Tent Rocks in January of 2001. 

The area is open for exploration only during the daytime, and even then it can be closed by the local Cochiti Pueblo Tribal Governor’s will. There is a recreation trail that winds visitors up to an observation point for a full view of the gorgeous rocks from above.

The rocks’ sharp tips that widen into conical-shaped bases, which gives them the distinct appearance of a teepee. The monument is a little isolated but it is not too hard to find. The area also offers a good opportunity to view the life and history of native people along with the natural majesty of the stone mountains. The monument is a unit of the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System. 


Know Before You Go

From Santa Fe, take the Cochiti Pueblo Exit 264 off I-25 onto NM 16. Turn right off NM 16 onto NM 22, and follow the signs to Cochiti Pueblo and the national monument. Summertime visitors should plan to arrive EARLY and be done by 11. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Heed flash flood warnings. Winter hiking is worth the trip. Plan for frosty temperatures and slippery trails. It's a gorgeous place.

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