I'm going back to scenic views and hiking!
The first time we wanted to go to this place it was closed because they were paving the road. Now the road is paved to the hiking trail head and if you go a little farther on a very good gravel road you can have some views without any hiking.
We will start with the hike. This is not a clue because this was totally made up by the four of us that were doing the hike...but that rock that sticks up....we called ET
Here is a better picture of ET. Doesn't he remind you of ET?
A little ways down the trail you have this interesting tree...you are only seeing the base of the tree here
You have to work your way though some interesting slot canyons
Here you are just before you start to climb
Now what I've found is the best view is way to easy to identify so I'm going to make it challenging for now and not post that picture just yet.
I will share some of the views from the gravel road.
You don't have to go very far down the road to see this view
and then farther down the gravel road
This picture has a clue in it if you can figure out what it is!
Where am I?
Bonus points for the name of the hike I did.
Ha! I was about to do this place myself, but you beat me to it! You're in Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, just north of Albuquerque in Cochiti Pueblo. You're probably on the Canyon Trail. And I'll bet that the picture you held back looked something like this:
I didn't even need Google for this one. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks is featured in my Albuquerque Loop, Scenic Side Trip #21, which also features Petroglyph National Monument, the Turquoise Trail, and Sandia Crest (all of which were covered earlier in this series ;-).
Rick was correct and this is Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico. We did it as side trips from Santa Fe.
This is the picture I was worried about being identified in a picture search. This is most of the way up the Slot Canyon Trail. We did the steep climb past the point of this picture and were disappointed. This is by far the best view of this hike but still a scramble. We made it up to there the first time but our friends couldn't manage even getting up this far on our second time visiting. We did do the much easier Cave Loop trail with them but I didn't post any pictures of that trail but ET can be seen on both trails.
Those formations are really unique. Relatively soft volcanic tuff that's eroded in a particular peculiar fashion, creating these conical "tents" that are as much as 90 feet tall.
Kudos to you guys for making that hike all the way to the top of the mountain! Your friends shouldn't be embarrassed; a lot of people bail out on that last section of the trail. In my book, I describe it as, "not for the faint of heart!"
Another new one: here you have an enthusiastic crowd of photographers, hanging out in the middle of nowhere:
What are they looking at?
What are they waiting for?
And--perhaps most important of all: Where am I?
I am guessing they are waiting for the setting sun to center in an arch in slick rock country.
I believe that is sunrise or set at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands. Looks like the surrounding area there!
Sorry! The only arches around here were on the soles of my feet!
All the people in this photo (above) are heading to (or from) that spot in the first photo, which is right next to here (below):
Another clue, for a more complete picture:
What are they all looking at?
What are they waiting for? Actually, Mark and Donna pretty much got this one, since the shutterbugs are obviously waiting for the sun to do some danged thing or another!
That said, (and perhaps most important of all): Where am I?