Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Here’s a wonderful hiking area a short drive south from Santa Fe.  Hiking to the top of a mesa on one of the trails reveals a staggering view, unlike anything else in the area.  Huge teepee-shaped rocks, formed by the erosion of volcanic ash tower over the valley like skyscrapers.  Over the years, hard boulders protected the soft ash and, as the wind and rain eroded the landscape, the gigantic “tents” emerged.  You can hike through the narrow canyons in amongst the towers on a short trail or hike up to the top on a longer trail yielding grand vistas.