Come experience a unique part of America’s heritage this summer in the shadows of Chimney Rock National Monument’s awe-inspiring twin spires! Chimney Rock will open for the 2017 season on Monday, May 15th. The site is accessible for guided walking tours at 9:30am, 11:00am and 1:00pm. During the peak season, July 1 through August 15th, four daily tours will be offered (see website for schedule.) The guided tour takes approximately 2.5 hours and involves hiking along the spectacular ridge top to several Puebloan archaeological sites dating from 950 to 1125 A.D. The Audio Kiva tour is available between 10:30am and 3:00pm and includes a pre-recorded audio commentary that gives in-depth information about the structures viewed and the people who lived there.  The cost of either tour is $12 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12; no charge for children under 5.  Chimney Rock National Monument is a protected archaeological site with limited access through tours only.  Tours begin at the visitor cabin where fees are collected.  Then guests drive in their own vehicles to the high mesa.  All tours are first come-first served.  No reservations required.

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) also sponsors monthly and annual events at Chimney Rock National Monument including the Night Sky: Our Solar System Program, Night Sky: Stars and Galaxies Program, the Full Moon Program, Summer Solstice Sunrise Program, Fall Equinox Sunrise Program and the always fun and FREE Life at Chimney Rock Festival.   CRIA is excited to announce two new special events this summer: Dances of the Ancients on May 27th and the Partial Solar Eclipse on August 21st!

The first program of the season will take place on May 19th.  The Night Sky: Stars & Galaxies Program is timed for when the moon is absent from the sky.  This program enables visitors to enjoy the night sky in a truly dark-sky environment and see fainter objects that the moon’s light would normally obscure. Your evening begins with an interactive discussion at the Visitor Cabin by special guest speaker Professor Erica Ellingson.  Erica is a prominent astronomer at the Dept. of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at University of Colorado, Boulder. She specializes in black holes, brown dwarfs, and dark matter. As sunset approaches, we’ll drive to the High Mesa parking lot where volunteer astronomers await with telescopes to provide a closer look at the wonders of the night sky. While we wait for our eyesight to adjust to the growing darkness, a short talk will explain how telescopes help us to better view night-sky objects and how the different types of telescopes work. Telescopes will focus on different features and the volunteers will change that focus periodically during the viewing time.

Include Chimney Rock in your plans this summer! This Ancient Puebloan cultural site is located 17 miles west of Pagosa and 3 miles south on Highway 151. To view the Chimney Rock National Monument 2017 Calendar of Events go to  CRIA is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that runs the daily operations and interpretive program at Chimney Rock National under a Participating Agreement  with the USDA Forest Service/San Juan National Forest.