Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks

So as usual, thanks to Pinterest I found us a really neat place to visit. I saw this article on Pinterest called the best 16 hikes in the western US, and Kasha Katuwe National Monument was on the list.

When I looked it up, it just so happens that it is very much on the way for driving to Phoenix. Now that my mom lives in Phoenix we are definitely in the interest of finding fun things to do either on the way there, or the way back to split up the drive.

Considering there was no sign announcing the presence of the monument at the exit on the highway, and we didn’t see hardly anyone driving there, we were very surprised when we arrived and the parking lot was packed! Somehow people always find their way to national parks and monuments!

The colors in the rocks here are due to previous volcanic activity in the region, and then flooding and erosion over time.

The shape of the rocks was also really unique. I guess the name tent rocks made sense, in terms of old style like tipi tents.

We were pretty exciting to find out that the main hike up to the overlook goes through a tight slot canyon. Jeb and I love slot canyons, and seem to always be finding ourselves hiking in them!

We are used to hiking in slot canyon with sand in them and also even with freezing cold water in them. But what we were not used to seeing is a slot canyon with snow and ice in the bottom! It wasn’t even very cold there, but since the slot canyon gets almost no direct sunlight, the snow and ice lasts a while.

Since I love the look of these canyons I couldn’t help but add a bunch of the pictures. I have a hard time picking favorites because each time you go around a curve in the canyon the scenery and lighting changes a little bit.

It was really neat to see all of the snow on the rocks.It didn’t look like a place you would expect to be snowy, but it was!

Once you get out of the slot canyon you start doing the serious uphill portion of the hike to the top of the overlook. It might not look like it from these pictures down there, but the area you had to hike up was very icy and scary! Going up wasn’t too terrible but coming back down was horrible!

We were really kicking ourselves for not having our yak traks or microspikes, the ice would have been no problem with either of those to give us some traction.

People were literally sliding on their butts in order to get back down without falling. We were happy to get through the hike without getting hurt.

The view from the top was definitely worth it though in our opinion! The tent rocks looked even more neat from up above, and way off in the distance there were even snow capped mountains.

We would definitely recommend stopping at this national monument as it was very unique looking and a fun hike!

The whole area around this monument is Indian reservation. Fortunately the monument is federal land so that we were allowed to go see it!

We ended up not getting to Phoenix until after 11pm thanks to the slow hike bike down with the ice!

We have now done 3 of the hikes on the list of “16 of the Most Photogenic HIkes on the West Coast”. I’m sure we will continue to do more of them!

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