Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico

March 30, 2021

Brian sauls

Photographer: Brian Sauls
Summary Author: Brian Sauls

The unusual landforms seen above are located in the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, located about 20 miles (32 km) west of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Kasha-Katuwe means white cliffs in the Keresan Pueblo language. The materials composing these cone-shaped rock formations, or hoodoos, were deposited 6-7 million years from pyroclastic flows associated with violent volcanic eruptions in the nearby Jemez volcanic field. The total thickness of this volcanic layer, consisting of distinct layers of boulder-sized rock fragments, pumice, ash and tuff, exceeds 1,000 feet (300 m). As the rocks eroded over the millennia, spires were created by differential weathering and erosion, with the relatively soft pumice and tuff layers capped by more resistant boulders which have since toppled off. The whole array of tall pillars, which can reach 90 feet (27 m) in height, has left a series of deep, winding and slot-like recesses almost too narrow to walk through.