This time, we drove to the monument with our cameras carefully turned off and out of sight. As we entered the monument, we made sure to ask if it was OK to take photographs. It was well worth our effort to return. The rock formations in the monument are very interesting and different and the slot canyon we hiked was beautiful.
The layers and layers of sandstone give the rocks an interesting appearance.
The top layer is a more dense cap rock that protects what is beneath it from erosion. Eventually, only a small amount of the cap rock remains, leaving the distinctive tent formations.
In the past we have only hiked one very small slot canyon, in Zion National Park, I believe. We really enjoyed the canyon in Tent Rocks. Look at how the root system of this Ponderosa Pine has eroded. Surprisingly, the tree is still very much alive.
We wouldn't have allowed either of our sons to climb all over the formations like this.
Here the canyon is getting more narrow.
The canyon looks even more interesting in black and white.
At times it would be difficult to look ahead and see where the canyon was going. Then someone would appear, coming from the other end.
We almost always use our diamond willow hiking sticks, which John made for us, when we go out. We do not recommend them in a slot canyon. Often, the trail wasn't wide enough to put the stick on the ground next to our feet. It ended uphill and put us in an awkward position.
Look closely at the hole near the top of this rock formation. How on earth did it fill up with small rocks, looking like river rocks. Did the main rock erode and these rocks came loose and piled in the bottom of the hole?