About halfway in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, you will find Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. This is probably one of the least visited national monuments in New Mexico, if not in the entire Western United States.
In the middle of the Cochiti pueblo, a dirt forest service road leads you to a landscape created by eroding lava. The formations are pitted with small natural caves, and form teepee like shapes which appear almost mythical. Looking like a village of mosques, many have little hats of resistant rock perched on their tops.
Tent Rocks is deemed a Natural Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Two trails wind through the site, where you can explore small canyons and catch views of the distant Sandia Mountain Range. The easy Cave Loop trail is 1.2 miles long. The Canyon trail, which is more difficult, is 1.5 miles one way into a narrow canyon. At its end you climb 630 feet up to the top of a mesa for 360 degree views. The beautiful red-colored trunks of pointleaf manzanita are a photogenic contrast to the starkness of the rocks.
Look closely at the claylike volcanic tuff formations to find small pieces of black volcanic glass, or obsidian, sometimes called Apache Tears. It is against park regulations to collect them.
The best access to Tent Rocks, five miles west of Cochiti on Tribal Road 92, is from Interstate 25 which connects Albuquerque and Santa Fe.