We took a little 3 day trip to Santa Fe for New Year's. Our first stop was Tent Rocks National Monument. It was a GORGEOUS 3 mile hike.
The trail starts off flat and you can see the "tent rocks" in the distance. The cone shaped rocks are a result of an ancient volcano eruption that left pumice, ash and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick in this area. Over time wind and water have eroded the rocks and left these formations.
As the trail enters the slot canyon, it gradually gains elevation, squeezes through narrow rock walls, and climbs over boulders. It was beautiful and really fun to hike.
(Clark got glasses. He loves them. It is obvious that he can see better with them.)
Then the trail becomes very steep (and icy in winter) as it climbs 630 feet to the top of the mesa. From the top you look down on the "tent rocks" and see views of the surrounding mountains.
Matt said - The lower loop was PG. The spur trail that went through the slot canyon quickly went to PG-13 and then R with the lifting and carrying of children.
Willa is an awesome hiker. She has so much energy. At the top, I was literally sitting in the dirt catching my breath and she was running in place saying she needed some more exercise. Clark did really well for a 2 year old. He hiked pretty much the whole thing. He had to be carried in a few difficult and icy spots and then wanted to be carried the last mile or so. Oliver was perfectly content on Matt's chest as long as Matt was moving and he had his binky.
It was perfect hiking weather in the sun. The shade got a bit chilly. Hiking just makes me want to hike more and more.