- Location: approximately 49 min drive from Santa Fe, NM
- Hours of operation: 8:00am-4:00pm
- Website: https://www.blm.gov/visit/kktr
- Facilities: bathrooms available at parking lot prior to entering the trail areas
- Closest gas station: Cochiti Mini Mart 1405 Cochiti Hwy, Cochiti Lake, NM 87083
- Cell phone reception: plan on no cell phone reception once you enter Tent Rocks National Monument - neither Verizon or AT&T networks worked reliably
- Special Permit Required for Commercial Photography: contact the Tent Rocks National Monument office 505.331.6259
- Notes: bring water, hiking footwear (at least sneakers with traction), sunscreen (depending on weather), snacks, power supplies/batteries
Tent Rocks National Monument is divided into two different trails, the Cave Loop trail and the Slot Canyon trail. Both offer excellent photographic opportunities. Cave Loop is much more open with sites for photos with expansive vistas and unusual rock formations. However, the Slot Canyon trail is the primary highlight. Much more exposed rock with striations and patterns, narrow paths for canyon shots, and different elevations to allow shooting upwards/downwards for unique images. You do not have to hike far into the Slot Canyon trail to find numerous spots, and depending on size and health of team plus equipment load (remember this part of New Mexico is very high elevation 5700-6400 ft), may not want to travel more than a few hundred yards into the Slot Canyon. Further into the Slot Canyon elevation starts changing dramatically with various areas of steps, rocks to climb over, and a little scrambling. However, if you do choose to climb all the way to the end of the Slot Canyon trail (expect about 45 min to 1 hour of hiking) you will be rewarded with beautiful views over New Mexico terrain, with several areas where the model(s) could stand close to safe edges for interesting images.
Tent Rocks National Monument opens at 8:00am and we highly recommend the Francesca's team arriving as early as possible to avoid crowds, increasing heat, and any inclement weather. Prepare for light to medium hiking and bring supplies for your expected time there. The Slot Canyon trail gets narrow with cramped areas, try to limit the amount of gear and equipment if possible. While we were scouting a visitor suffered a knee injury and had to be medically assisted and escorted down the trail. Crowds increase from 8:30am into the afternoon, by 11:00am expect a steady number of people traversing the trail. Remember anything you climb up you're obligated to climb back down on the return, it gets a little steep later in the trail.
Would focus on Slot Canyon trail for first opportunities and then go to the Cave Loop trail if necessary. Cave Loop has less unique features and much more room to hike comfortably and negotiate crowds.
Entry and Cave Loop
Doors in Santa Fe
Narrative Media went to several different neighborhoods in the downtown Santa Fe, NM area to look for colorful doors and entryways that could be opportunities for the Francesca's creative team to consider. All except one are residences, it would be best to seek some sort of permission or approval prior to shooting. Narrative Media is happy to attempt to contact home owners of any preferred sites. Scouting location images are in the gallery below and also plotted with map points in the Google Map above. You can click on pins to see locations and associated images.
Residential streets in Santa Fe, NM, particularly these areas, tend to be narrow without much room. Would try to have only one vehicle and a small photographic/creative team shooting at these doors and locations.
Los Alamos/White Rocks
- Location: approximately 42 min drive from Santa Fe, NM
- Facilities: nothing at locations but numerous places and businesses nearby
- Cell phone reception: plan on spotty cellphone service
- Notes: bring water, sunscreen (depending on weather), snacks, power supplies/batteries
First location is on the canyon highway pass up to Los Alamos, NM, Anderson Overlook (first five photos in gallery below). It's a simple pull over area for vehicles but has a lot of space and amazing views of the valley below and mountains across the way. As long as the team is careful, could hop over guardrail for a quick series of photos with a beautiful background. Be aware that Los Alamos, NM is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory, a government research center with extreme security measures. Keep things as compact as possible and try to not to call attention if you use this location. Absolutely no drones, they will be respond very aggressively.
Second location is on the way to Bandelier National Monument (last five photos in gallery below), another highway pull off area with expansive views. Same advice as for the first location.
Santa Fe Plaza
Downtown Santa Fe Plaza is an extremely busy place and film permits are required to shoot in this area. There are vendors that arrive very early in the morning and as it's tourist season, it can get very crowded. Either be flexible with your timing, very quick with the shots taken, or have extra assistants to help keep pedestrians out of your way. The bandstand/gazebo is technically off limits to use other than scheduled concerts and performances, you may possibly get access with a film permit, but be prepared for local police that are omnipresent to question you anywhere in the area.