Loading Events
Event Series Event Series: Summer Solstice Sunrise Tour

The Summer Solstice Tour is held once a season at Chimney Rock National Monument. Because this event is such a wondrous experience, the tour is offered not just on the solstice itself, but on each day preceding and following the solstice. The 2024 tour offerings are Wednesday, June 19; Thursday, June 20 (Summer Solstice); and Friday, June 21. Come to this special place and watch the sun rise over the San Juan Mountains as the summer announces itself on the longest day of the year.  With a 360-degree vantage point and the hush of early morning in the wilderness, the rising sun witnessed from the Great House Pueblo is a most unique experience.  Such celestial events were of utmost importance to the Ancient Ones, and we will discuss the significance the solstice played in the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans.


It is a 3-mile drive to the trailhead and a 30 to 45-minute uphill hike to the Great House Pueblo in pre-dawn darkness. The hike 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).  At the end of the trail, visitors will be rewarded with a panoramic view from atop the mesa ridge.  They will also enjoy the closest view possible from the two pinnacles:  Chimney Rock and Companion Rock. Bring a good flashlight and dress appropriately. Sunrise is at 6:07 a.m. with the return hike down the trail taking place in daylight.


Check-in is at the Highway 151 entrance gate from 4:30 a.m. to 4:45 a.m.  The tour takes place from 4:45 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.  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 free.  Making a reservation through the Recreation.gov website or its 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 the tour is scheduled, reservations are strongly recommended.  Reservations will be cut off 12 hours before 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. 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.


Dates: June 19,20 & 21

  • Check-in: 4:30 a.m. – 4:45 a.m.
  • Tour: 4:45 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.


Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

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.