Full Moon Program at Chimney Rock This Saturday

By Nadia Werby

There is so much to learn and experience at Chimney Rock National Monument! View the stars, the full moon or take a tour of this spectacular Monument where the Ancient Puebloans used to live. Chimney Rock offers monthly programs, annual events and daily guided and audio-guided tours that are fun and educational for the whole family.

The “Full Moon Program” will take place this Saturday, July 8. Visitors will hear Native American flute music by Charles Martinez and experience the moon rising from the ridge where the Puebloan Great House is located. This program is not recommended for children under the age of 8. There is a $15 fee for attending or $20 to attend the Full Moon Program with an early tour. Guests who plan to attend the early tour, please check in at the Visitor Cabin by 5:30pm. Guests who plan to attend the Full Moon Program only, please check in at the Visitor Cabin by 7:00pm. The Full Moon Program begins at 7:30pm. For tickets, visit www.chimneyrockco.org

CRIA’s annual “Life at Chimney Rock Festival” will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23 from 10:00am to 4:00pm each day. Bring the whole family! The entry to the Festival is FREE! Family activities and interactive demonstrations of the skills of the Ancients will include grinding corn with a mano and metate; pounding yucca to make rope, netting or sandals; throwing the hunting spear known as an atlatl, or creating your own pictograph. Visitors can watch volunteers spin dog hair into fiber as well as learn the arts of basket weaving and pottery making. The Stargazers will be there with a solar scope demonstration so kids will have the opportunity to safely view the sun and learn about how the ancient Puebloans viewed the night sky. A major festival attraction is an invitational Native American Arts and Crafts Market and Native American tacos. Guided and self-guided tours of the site will also be available (adults $12, children 5-12 $5).

CRIA presents the “Night Sky: Stars & Galaxies” on Friday, July 21 and the “Night Sky: Our Solar System” on Friday, July 28. The “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. “Our Solar System” is timed for when the moon is present in the sky but not fully illuminated; it enables viewers to enjoy the night sky unimpeded by artificial lighting or the brightness of a full moon, and see many of the brighter objects that are visible. For both programs, your evening begins with an interactive discussion at the Visitor Cabin. Topics will include how the ancient people who periodically inhabited the site lived, how they used the unique landscape of the Chimney Rock area to view the sky and what special astronomical events they might have seen.

After the presentation, visitors 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 waiting for your 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.

These programs are perfect for young families and those with limited mobility. Reservations strongly recommended. Limited space. Walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets are $12.00 (adults) and $5.00 (children 5-12) plus booking fee, and are non-refundable. Please check our website (below) for times and to make your reservation.

Visit this Ancient Puebloan cultural site located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs and 3 miles south on Highway 151. The site is also accessible for guided walking tours at 9:30 am, 11:00 am, and 1:00pm. Audio-Guided Kiva Trail tours are available between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm. The cost of the tour is $12 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12, and under 5 is free.

For monthly program tickets, please visit www.chimneyrockco.org or call 1-877-444-6777. A booking fee applies to each ticket purchased online or through the call center. Purchasing your tickets in advance is the only way to guarantee a spot for the monthly and annual programs.

CRIA is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that runs the daily operations and interpretive program at Chimney Rock National Monument under a Participating Agreement with the USDA Forest Service/San Juan National Forest.

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Nadia Werby

Nadia Werby is the Marketing Coordinator for the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association.