Tent Rocks National Monument – New Mexico 2 of 5 – Travel with Tom and Priscilla Schmidt

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Tent Rocks National Monument – New Mexico Hiking with Tom and Priscilla

Tent Rocks was a national monument with unique conical rock formations. We saw pictures online that piqued our curiosity, and right away, we knew we had to hike the trails no matter how tough it was going to be. Tent Rocks was also conveniently located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, making it a good detour as we headed towards Santa Fe.

Hiking Trail at Tent Rocks National Monument

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At the entrance to Tent Rocks. The trail winding through the brush on the way up.

The trail started off on flat and dry sandy ground, but it soon turned into massive rock walls on both sides, technically described as a slot canyon. Parched-looking trees with gnarled roots attempted to trip us as we navigated the canyon.
We squeezed through tight sections of the slot canyon and scrambled over large rocks in our path. The views in front of us seem to magically morph with each step forward, culminating at the summit with vistas that were literally heart stopping. At the summit, we could see the tops of the strange conical rocks, juxtaposed with desert land as far as the eye could see. The view that had inspired us to visit was right in front of us, but more vivid, and with much more depth, breadth, color and even a palpable sense of danger that we would step slightly off the path and slide down into the canyon below. The scenery was absolutely phenomenal. And, the hike was surprisingly manageable to boot. The elderly who completed the hike could attest to that.

Slot Canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument

In the slot canyon a human can barely fit in between the carved rocks.

View up the expanse of carved rocks in the Slot Canyon of Tent Rocks NM.

A little size comparison…  It may be slighty distored from my wide angle lens, but it’s an imposing atmosphere.

With the sun setting, we hiked back down to the slot canyon and back to the open desert. Along the short loop path at the base of the canyon, there were a number of smaller conical rocks that jutted out here and there, and even an ancient man made cave that had probably sheltered a few people in its heyday.
Tent Rocks was a lot more majestic and surreal than the pictures that brought us there. It was certainly well worth the detour to visit.

At the Top of Tent Rocks National Monument

Travel Journal 

Priscilla Schmidt : @pristye


Tom Schmidt :  schmidtphoto.com @tomschmidtphoto

More From Tom and Priscilla’s New Mexico Journey

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