Explore Chimney Rock
Beautiful Chimney Rock National Monument is a sacred place with spiritual significance to two dozen modern-day native tribes, a celestial observatory and a natural, seasonal calendar that marked the equinox for the Ancestral Puebloans who lived here more than 1,000 years ago. More about Chimney Rock’s history >>
Open May 15 through September 30, Chimney Rock covers 7 square miles and preserves 200 ancient homes and ceremonial buildings, some of which have been excavated for viewing and exploration: a Great Kiva, a Pit House, a Multi-Family Dwelling, and the most impressive — a Chacoan-style Great House Pueblo located at over 7,500 feet above sea level. The hike to the top is just a half mile and rewards visitors with dramatic 360-degree views of the San Juan Mountains — making Chimney Rock a southwest Colorado must-see.
Discover the Mystery
Guests to Chimney Rock often comment on the powerful connection they feel to the people and the place when they visit. Imagine first-hand how the people lived. Hear the story of what is known about them; ponder what is not known. Why did they vanish in 1125 A.D.? How much did they know about astronomy?
Our tour guides are all volunteers with different backgrounds and areas of expertise: botany, birding, geology, chemistry, history and more. With unscripted narratives, no guided tour of Chimney Rock is ever the same. You can also choose the self-guided audio tour, which allows visitors to maximize their tours with audio devices featuring a scripted narrative. Learn more about guided and audio-guided tours >>
See the Moon and the Stars
From May through September, Chimney Rock offers one-of-a-kind Archaeoastronomy programs. The Full Moon Program offers a hike to the Great Kiva to see the moon rise over the San Juan Mountains to the accompaniment of a Native American flute player — you’ll descend the lantern-lit prehistoric trail and arrive back at the base with an unforgettable memory. Or try one of the national monument’s Night Sky Archaeoastronomy Programs: Stars & Galaxies and Our Solar System. There is nothing like the sight of the night sky viewed through a telescope from a truly dark environment like Chimney Rock.
Dances of the Ancients, May 27, 2017
Two Pueblo dance groups gather at Chimney Rock to dance in The Great Kiva, home to their ancestors. The Acoma Rain Dancers from Acoma Pueblo and the Oak Canyon dancers from Jemez Pueblo — both all-children dance groups — will perform at 10am and 1pm, one day only. This culturally significant event is both powerful and captivating. There can be no better way to connect with Chimney Rock than through the descendants of the Ancient Puebloan people performing celebratory dances in traditional dress. Since this event is over Memorial Day weekend, book your lodging in Pagosa Springs or another neighboring town early!
Other Attractions To Enrich Your Southwest Colorado Vacation
The nearest town to Chimney Rock, Pagosa Springs is just 15 minutes away and offers a multitude of activities, including hot springs, hot-air balloon rides, mountain biking, rafting, tubing, award-winning breweries and much more.