Once home to hundreds of early American Indians, the archeological finds of 200 homes and other structures have been discovered near ancient farming areas. This collection of sites made up the cultural center of an ancient American Indian civilization. Many of these sites have been reburied for their protection and preservation. Four sites — Great Kiva, Pit House, Ridge House and Great House Pueblo — have been excavated and stabilized to provide visitors a glimpse into the past.

Chimney Rock has religious significance as well — every 18.6 years during the winter solstice the moon rises perfectly between the rocks.

In 2012, the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area became Chimney Rock National Monument.

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