There was something about the austere landscape of the Kasha-Katuwe National Monument which brought out my inner Ansel Adams. The cliffs and slot canyons were created by volcanic eruptions which occurred 6 to 7 million years ago that left pumice, ash, and tuff deposits over 1000 feet thick. Tremendous explosions from the Jemez volcanic field spewed pyroclasts, while searing hot gases blasted down slopes in an incandescent avalanche called a pyroclastic flow. Wind and rain then went to work sculpting the landscape.
Kasha-Katuwe National Monument is approximately 40 miles Southwest of Santa Fe, NM and definitely worth the side trip. Come prepared to hike the 1.5 mile slot trail which rises 1,100 feet from the trail head.