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Slot Canyon Trail Out and Back

 21 votes

Length

3.0 Miles 4.8 Kilometers


Elevation

849' 259 m

Ascent

-849' -259 m

Descent

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

55%

Max Grade (29°)

6,362' 1,939 m

High

5,745' 1,751 m

Low

Conditions


All Clear 29 days ago
Dry History

Getting forecast...

One of New Mexico’s “must-do” hikes!

Kristen Arendt

Overview

This quick out-and-back takes you through a narrow slot canyon and ends at an overlook of the Monument’s namesake teepee (or tent) shaped rock formations.

Of the two main trails at this trailhead for Kasha-Katuwe Tent Tocks National Monument, the Cave Loop Trail is the more difficult, but is also the more picturesque. You’ll start off hiking among the Monument’s unique tent-shaped hoodoos along a sandy trail, and then enter a narrow, but beautiful, slot canyon.

The canyon then opens up before the trail makes its way steeply up the canyon wall to an overlook of the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, and Sandia mountains, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.
Features: Views
Dogs: No Dogs

Need to Know

Use caution when hiking in the slot canyon. Beware of rock falls during wet and windy conditions and the possibility of flash flooding during inclement weather.

Description

From the trailhead, the trail heads to the northeast and is well-marked as it winds through the park’s namesake tent rock hoodoos. These formed from erosion after the Jemez volcanic field erupted 6-7 million years ago. The formations are still forming and pumice and tuff are quite fragile so please remain on the trail.

A half-mile into the hike, you’ll arrive at the intersection for the easier Cave Loop Trail to the left. The Canyon Trail continues to the right, and will continue to a narrow slot canyon. This area is quite picturesque, and many visitors will stop and take pictures through this section. Please be courteous to other visitors and allow them to pass in areas that allow. Also, beware of rock falls during wet and windy conditions and the possibility of flash flooding during inclement weather.

Just over a mile into the hike, you’ll start to climb out of the canyon. The trail gets quite steep with dozens of steps as it switchbacks up the canyon wall. During the warm, summer months, take your time and use caution to avoid heat-related injuries. During the winter, watch for icy conditions in this section. The trail tops out with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and the valley below. You’ll return to the trailhead along the same route.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Mar 10, 2018
Erin Steven
3mi
Mar 4, 2018
Taylor Fisher
4.3mi
Dec 30, 2017
Kelli Tolocka
2.2mi
Dec 29, 2017
Dustin Galuppo
Dec 26, 2017
Dustin Galuppo
Nov 11, 2017
Richard White
3mi
Oct 18, 2017
Ines Rivas-Hutchins
Sep 2, 2017
Sabrina Tavella
3mi

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 21 votes

#78

Overall
  4.6 from 21 votes
5 Star
62%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#1

in New Mexico

#78

Overall
884 Views Last Month
9,497 Since Nov 23, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

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