(Cochiti Lake NM)
The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument was between Albuquerque and Santa Fe; just a few miles from my camp at Cochiti Lake. Strange rock formations resulted from extensive volcanic eruptions and subsequent erosion from wind and water over thousands of years.
I hiked the relatively easy Canyon Trail with an elevation gain of about 600ft. It went through a slot, and then up to an overlook. Along the way were exceptional rock formations, cliffs, hoodoos, and gnarly trees. Except for the steep climb at the end, the 2 miles round-trip wasn’t that difficult.
A variety of shapes and spaces, different rock formations, and some greenery made for interesting sights. The view at the top looked out to the surrounding desert, and into the canyon. The trail was just quirky enough to seem challenging, yet not too difficult.
There was also the Cave Loop trail, which I heard was not as interesting. And, an overlook at the end of a 9 miles drive up a gravel road. Neither of those got my attention. Still, what I did was rewarding, and enough for my old legs. It was well worth the effort.
Stayed at the Army Corps of Engineers campground overlooking Cochiti Lake with the mountains in the distance. My site had a paved pad, shelter with picnic table, good internet, and a nice view of the lake.
There were flush toilets, showers, trash and dump station available. All for $6 per night with Senior Pass. Electric sites were available for more; but, without a view of the lake. Glad I don’t need hook-ups.
Camp: Cochiti Lake CG-COE drycamp
Scene: Rock formations, slot canyon, cliffs, trails