I had wanted to visit Tent Rocks ever since I first saw pictures last year. Apparently, this national monument and someplace in Turkey, are the only places in the world where this type of rock formation occur. The area is composed of layers of volcanic rock and ash that created the Jimez Volcanic Field. The term Kasha-Katuwe refers to the white layers of rock. The tent rocks themselves are cones of soft pumice beneath capstones of harder rock. Some of them are 90 feet high. You can see the beginning of other tent rocks just barely outlined on other canyon walls. The erosion of softer pumice and tuff has also caused the creation of slot canyons – and one of the most popular trails in the monument is a 1.5 mile slot canyon hike that rises over 630 feet to a view of the canyons and tent rocks from above.
The hike is spectacular and, in places, a bit of a scramble. I expected my fear of heights to kick in – but overall it wasn’t too bad.