March 31, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Spring Awakens at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Monument

'Summer hours have begun, so get yourself out there early'

By Karen Denison

At Home Outdoors

Karen Denison is owner of Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing guide service, a former biologist, and a shameless admirer of the outdoors.


I've been spending more time this month out at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Monument.  If you haven't been yet, shame on you.  If it's been a while since your last visit, now may be the time to renew your acquaintance.  The temperatures have been perfect and the early spring plants are waking up.  Yucca and manzanita are beginning to blossom.

Summer hours have begun, so get yourself out there early (they open at 7am) if you want quiet time and interesting light.  By 10 a.m., the families are arriving and carefully composed photography becomes more difficult.  Take a wide-angle lens for some big landscapes from the top of the ridge and wonderful angles in the narrow canyons.

If you really want to delve into the formations (so to speak), go with a geologist friend or a copy of Kirt Kempter's "Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Monument, Trail Map and Geology" published by High Desert Field Guides.  For a brief primer on local volcanics, see the Outspire blog post by geologist and guide Scott Renbarger 

This special place has NO WATER so be sure to bring your bottles with you.  And leave Fido at home, as there have been previous incidents which has resulted in their enforced "no dogs" policy.

Directions, entrance fees, other logistics:

Take your time and enjoy the magic!