Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, is an expansive geological park featuring hiking trails & wildlife amid cone-shaped tent rock formations located 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs” in the Pueblo language, Keresan. Learn about this family friendly hiking area with spectacular views in all directions that will leave you speechless. The Santa Fe Tent Rocks are an awe-inspiring attraction. Lace on your hiking boots and get ready to experience one of the Southwest’s most observed geological wonders.
Tent Rocks Santa Fe: Quick Info
Address: Jemez Springs, NM 87025
Hours: Monday –Sunday 8am to 4pm (hours may change on holidays) Closing procedures begin at 3:30pm to clear the Monument by 5pm. Visitors must be out of the fee booth gated area by closing time.
Cost: $5 entry fee
Phone: (505) 331-6259
Hiking the Santa Fe Tent Rocks with Kids
We had the opportunity to visit this national monument on a recent family vacation to Santa Fe New Mexico. There are several family friendly hiking trails including the Tent Rocks hike and the Canyon Trail hike.
Since we were travelling with my 6 year old daughter we decided to do the 1.2 mile Cave Loop Trail hike. It is rated “easy” and we made our way around the entire loop trail in about 40 minutes.
If it had just been my husband and I we would have also done the Canyon Trail which is considered a little more difficult. It is 1.5 miles long one way hike into a narrow canyon with a steep 630 ft climb to the top. Once you arrive at the top there is beautiful views of the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Sandia mountains and the Rio Grande Valley. If you have older kids or teens they would probably be fine on this hike.
Although the hikes aren’t too difficult, something to keep in mind is that Santa Fe is about 5,000 ft above sea level and the Tent Rocks are about 6000-7000 feet above sea level.
Altitude sickness in Santa Fe
I experienced mild altitude sickness for the first half of our trip. Our home base is in Washington State where we are right beside the Pacific Ocean and obviously at sea level.
I felt a little tired, weak and sick for the first couple days after our arrival in Santa Fe and thought it was just a little jet lag and being worn out from travel. Then I looked up altitude sickness and realized that’s exactly what it was.
Because there is less oxygen in the air my stamina wasn’t quite as strong as it usually is. I exercise most days of the week and am in decent shape but I got winded sooner than I expected and felt almost constantly like I was “out of breath” during the hike and also when we were taking long walks around downtown Santa Fe. I’d never had altitude sickness before, It’s a weird sensation.
You body may not be used to the desert climate
The other thing that threw off my body a bit was the desert climate of New Mexico. Where we live in the Pacific Northwest there is lots of moisture in the air. No matter how much water I drank I still felt dehydrated on our trip to New Mexico.
One thing that helped tremendously was drinking Gatorade or Powerade. The electrolytes made me feel way better after drinking a big bottle of it. I was also told by one of our Lyft drivers in town that you can buy electrolyte tablets at the local grocery stores and they help quite a bit.
Keep in mind that kids might be even more susceptible to altitude sickness so make sure they are staying hydrated and getting enough rest before you try any hikes or strenuous activity.
Directions to the Tent Rocks Santa Fe
From Albuquerque, head north on I-25 and take the exit for Santo Domingo/Cochiti Lake Recreation Area (Exit 259) off I-25 onto NM 22. Follow the signs on NM 22 to Cochiti Pueblo and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.
From Santa Fe, head south on I-25 and 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.
FAQ about the Tent Rocks
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located approximately 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico, near Cochiti Pueblo. It will take you about 55 minutes to drive from downtown Santa Fe
It is 55 miles northeast of Albuquerque
Dogs are not allowed at Tent Rocks, Leave your pups at home for this hike.
The name comes from their unusually symmetrical cone-shaped bases, formed from a layer of easily-eroded volcanic ash known as “tuff.” These deposits were created 6 to 7 million years ago by the volcanoes of the Pajarito Plateau. This area was designated Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument on January 17, 2001.