Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Rock 'n' Stroll.(Outdoors & Recreation)

Byline: Stories and Photos by Carolyn Appelman Of the Journal

N.M.'s newest national monument a beautiful and strenuous example of nature's artistry

Looking for a day trip that will leave your soul as refreshed as your eyes? Or maybe one that will wear out the kids while not quite wearing out the grown-ups? Then head north to New Mexico's newest national monument Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.

On Jan. 17, 2001, President Clinton designated this area as New Mexico's 11th national monument, and it's new name Kasha-Katuwe means "white cliffs" in Keresan, the traditional language for the Pueblo de Cochiti.

On a warm March Sunday, I packed up two rambunctious 9-year-olds, my son, Chance, and his friend JoJo Pomo, and we headed to Tent Rocks, located on Pajarito Plateau, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

The quick, 50-or-so-mile drive to the area gave me the opportunity to tell the boys about the fascinating history of the formations.

History lesson

Six million to 7 million years ago, volcanic explosions from the Valles Caldera area northwest of Tent Rocks spewed rock and ash for hundreds of square miles, leaving volcanic debris up to 400 feet thick. Over time, water cut into these deposits, creating canyons, arroyos and other features in the rock. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.