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Event Series Event Series: Geology Tour


This 2.5 hour guided tour explores the local geology and its relationship to the daily lives of the Ancestral Puebloans who lived at Chimney Rock over 1,000 years ago. The tour is offered weekly on Tuesday late afternoons and Saturday mornings. Tour participants will be taken on a journey through geologic time to learn what the rocks present at Chimney Rock today tell us about the geography of southwestern Colorado over time. Participants will also learn how to identify common rocks and fossils in the area. Rock types impact structures, pottery, tools, and soil productivity. Geologic processes determine the landscape at Chimney Rock and play a central role in climate. The relationship between the two pillars (Chimney Rock and Companion Rock) and the South San Juan Mountains in terms of astronomical observations will be discussed. The tour also covers the key points discussed in the archaeological focused tours like the Great House Tour. No prior knowledge of geology is required.


The hike up to the Chacoan Great House Pueblo offers great views and photo opportunities but may be difficult for some due to the steep gradient, uneven footing, and elevation ending at 7600 feet. The elevation gain is 200 feet. Participants should be in reasonable physical condition and willing to hike mostly uphill for 1/3 mile (and return steeply downhill). The tour length includes 30 minutes for the hike to and from the Great House Pueblo.


Check-in is at the Highway 151 entrance gate at the time stated below for each tour. Please adhere to the check-in timeline. The gate will be promptly locked at the end of that time. Tickets are $20.00 for ages 13 and up, $10.00 for ages 5-12, and under 5 are free. Making a reservation through the Recreation.gov website or the call center (877-444-6777) is the only way to guarantee a spot for this tour. Recreation.gov charges a $1.00 reservation fee that is non-refundable. To ensure this tour is scheduled, reservations are strongly recommended. Reservations will be cut off 12 hours prior to the start of the tour. Most tours are at full capacity prior to the event, but walk-ins will be accommodated if space is available. They will be accepted on a first come, first served basis, and must arrive during the specified check-in time frame. Tour tickets can be purchased directly from the guide with cash only. Note: if no one has signed up for the tour by online reservation within the allotted time frame, the tour will not run. No refunds will be issued for no-shows.


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There’s more to learn at Chimney Rock National Monument beyond the daily tours.  The interpretive program at Chimney Rock includes opportunities to see the site in a different light and to enjoy the different facets of the site.  Ticket fees for special programs are considered a non-refundable donation. Programs often sell out. A booking fee applies to each ticket purchased online or through the call center. Making a reservation through the website or the call center is the only way to guarantee a spot on this tour. Most programs are at full capacity prior to the event but we will accommodate walk-ins if space is available. Booking fees do not apply to walk-ins.

You can book our monthly programs online or by calling 1-877-444-6777.