New Mexico Part 1: Tent Rocks National Monument

September 27, 2018

Tent Rocks New MexicoTent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New Mexico
Tent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New Mexico
Tent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New Mexico
Tent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New MexicoTent Rocks New MexicoTent Rocks New MexicoTent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New Mexico
Tent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New Mexico
Tent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New MexicoTent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New Mexico
Tent Rocks New Mexico

Tent Rocks New MexicoTent Rocks New Mexico

New Mexico Day 1

New Mexico was going to be part of a larger road trip we had planned for this past Summer. It was one of the places that I looked forward to the most out of all our planned stops.  However, health concerns made us reevaluate our trip and we had to scrap the road trip after the second day in. Admittedly I was a little bummed at first, but I knew it was for the best. I don’t have any regrets for cancelling our vacation because family and health comes before anything.

The whole month of July was devoted to rest. This gave us time to heal and regroup.  We enjoyed hanging out at home and venturing out locally, but I could sense that everyone was getting a tad restless and itching to get out of town. One day the hubby happened to randomly be looking at cheap flights and found that Santa Fe, New Mexico was listed on there.  A deal like that was just too good to pass up. We decided on a 5 day vacation for early August focusing on just Santa Fe and Tent Rocks.

When we told the kids that we were traveling to New Mexico, they were ecstatic. I think they secretly love travel for the gummy bear treats and usage of their Kindle (well mostly the bubs). What I was most excited about was a change of scenery, the high desert vibes and family time. This was our first trip to New Mexico and it was also right in the dead of Summer so I really didn’t know what to expect weather-wise. I figured I’d cover my bases and packed warm weather clothes for day and some pants and jackets for night.  As it turns out the weather was perfection and as predicted. Warmer temps in midday and slightly cooler temps at night so our wardrobe all got used.

Our flight was for 6 o’clock on a Friday, which is great because the hubs didn’t even have to use a vacation day. It was a nice flight into Albuquerque’s tiny airport.  After we landed and got our rental car, we drove a short distance to our hotel in Albuquerque. We spent just one night here, this allowed us to visit Tent Rocks the next day before heading into Santa Fe.

The next morning we woke up bright and early and drove out to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. I highly recommend getting there at least 30 minutes before the park opens. Once the parking lot is full, visitors are made to wait at the gate and who knows how long the wait is. We got there in a little under thirty minutes before opening time which made us about the 6th car in line. Once the gate opened we stopped to used the restrooms and sprayed ourselves down with massive amounts of sunblock.

It was absolutely one of the best hikes I’ve done in my life. The trail starts off shady and then it takes you through slot canyons where some areas are narrower than others. As the trail winds and meanders it leads you up to the top where your eyes are feasted on incredible rock formations shaped like tents.  You’re also treated to beautiful panoramic view of the lush high desert landscape. The only other place in the world you could find these same rock formations are in Turkey. It sure made me feel special that I was able to see them in Santa Fe and not having to travel across the world.

The kids loved climbing over some of the larger rocks that were on the trail. In my opinion I would say the difficult level is fairly easy to moderate.  Our kids were 7 and 9 at the time and they did it was ease. Another reason to hike earlier in the day than later besides not having to wait is the sun won’t be as harsh at the top. At the top it’s sunny and hot and we were all sweating profusely at that point. However, the views were killer and the feeling of triumph that you made it to the top is 100% worth it.  When hiking with kids it’s so important to bring plenty of water and take as many breaks as you need. We completed the hike in a total of 3 hours which included water breaks and photo taking.

If you haven’t decided where to go on your next vacation please think about giving New Mexico a try.  We are very interested in planning another visit back to this Southwest state one day soon. There are so many more places such as White Sands National Monument, Taos, and Carlsbad Caverns that we would love to explore.

Helpful Tips:

  • During the high season try and get there at least 30 minutes-1 hour before the park opens
  • Be sure to put on sunscreen and wear a hat
  • Bring plenty of water, we used a hydration pack
  • Although hiking boots would have been preferred our sneaker did just fine (we didn’t have the luggage space for x4 boots)

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