Reservations: 877.444.6777 | Monument: 970.883.5359
Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) 2017-04-26T19:45:23+00:00


Chimney Rock Interpretive Association

new_CRIA_logoThe Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer association with headquarters in Pagosa Springs, CO. It was organized in the spirit of joint community stewardship of  Chimney Rock National Monument’s cultural heritage and natural resources through public interpretation, information, education, and participation. CRIA works in cooperation and partnership with the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest (USDA Forest Service). This partnership is authorized through a Special Use Permit between CRIA and the Forest Service.

CRIA’s volunteers support the mission to preserve and protect the Monument while educating the public. CRIA promotes public education, interpretation, and stewardship of culture and history through guided tours and special events of the Chimney Rock National historic site.  CRIA receives no government funding and depends on tour fees, donations and grants to fund the interpretive program.  Volunteers reach out to the community through free programs for school children and bi-monthly lecture series and social hour open to the public at the Ecoluxe Building at The Springs Resort and Spa at 165 Hot Springs Blvd in Pagosa Springs.

Programs at the Monument are presented by trained volunteers. In addition to a 2-day training session each Spring, volunteers receive a comprehensive training manual and on-the-job continuous training.

chimney rock national historic site

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association Mission Statement
The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA), a non-profit organization, is devoted to providing increased numbers of visitors with a meaningful, enjoyable educational experience through interpretive tours and special programs and to the long term preservation of Chimney Rock National Monument.




There are approximately 80 friendly volunteers who are the heart of the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) which operates the interpretive program at our Chimney Rock National historic site. While there are paid staff members, it’s the volunteers who interpret and maintain the site and do most of the tasks that make the program work. There are volunteer opportunities for nearly any skill or interest.

Tour guides, Mesa hosts, and Visitor Cabin hosts at the site have direct contact with the public. These volunteers typically work one day each week. There are a number of less public positions and the amount of time a volunteer puts in at the site or behind the scenes is flexible. Unseen but deeply appreciated volunteer opportunities include grant writing, fundraising, posting flyers, clerical help, scheduling volunteers, or sharing in the camaraderie of the maintenance team.

Before the season opens, there is a free two-day training program that includes a tour of the Monument’s interpretive trails. New volunteers are encouraged to shadow a more experienced volunteer to augment the knowledge gained at training. Several times a year, volunteers gather for a social event to share a meal and hear a speaker whose topic typically relates to archaeology. Bring a dish to share and join us at the at Ecoluxe Building at The Springs Resort and Spa at 165 Hot Springs Blvd in Pagosa Springs. At least twice a year, volunteers enjoy a field trip to another site of interest, often including a tour not available to the general public. These tours enhance our knowledge of the cultural history of the Four Corners area.

Here’s just a few of the volunteer opportunities at Chimney Rock.  Please download the Volunteer Form for a full list of positions and descriptions.  If you would like to join this amazing team,please fill out the form, scan and Email it to or snail mail it to:

Chimney Rock Nat’l Monument
P.O. Box 1662
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Daily Tour Guides

Lead guided interpretive tours of Chimney Rock's developed trails.

One or Two Days a Week

Tour guides are responsible for providing an accurate interpretation of the area’s archaeology, natural history, ethnology, and history.

Visitor Cabin Hosts

Welcome visitors, answer questions, and describe tour options.

Work as a Team

Hosts explain tour details, special programs and events to visitors. They are also familiar with the archaeological exhibits and educational items for sale in the Visitor Cabin.

Behind the Scenes

Work behind the scenes to support Chimney Rock.

Assist with marketing and volunteers

Provide back office support including photocopying, maintaining records, and answering emails. Many volunteers also help with special events.

Join Maintenance Team

Ensure a safe environment for staff and visitors and improve facilitiy.

Regular maintenance & special projects.

Have fun while helping us with trail maintenance, noxious weed abatement, minor repairs, and special project work.

Monthly Programs & Special Events

Be a part of our popular archaeoastronomy programs and annual events


Light the trail for the Full Moon .  Assist with interactive activities at Life at Chimney Rock and more!