Chimney Rock National Monument September Events Begin Tonight

Chimney Rock National Monument’s 2017 season is winding to an end, but there is still time to visit this spectacular Monument where the Ancient Puebloans once resided. Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) offers monthly programs, annual events and daily guided and self-guided tours that are fun and educational for the whole family through September 30.

Night Sky Programs

Our Solar System Program: today, Friday, September 1
Stars and Galaxies Program: Friday, September 22.
The Stars & Galaxies program is timed for when the moon is absent from the sky and the Our Solar System program is timed for when the moon is present in the sky, but not fully illuminated. For both programs, the evening begins with an interactive discussion at the Visitor Cabin. 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. These programs are perfect for young families and those with limited mobility. Tickets are $12.00 (adults) and $5.00 (children 5-12) plus booking fee, and are non-refundable. Please check our website for times and to make a reservation.

Full Moon Program: Wednesday, September 6
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 recommended for children over the age of 8. There is a $15 fee for attending or $20 to attend the Full Moon Program with an early tour which starts at 5:45 pm. Guests who plan to attend the Full Program only, please check in at the Visitors Cabin by 6:45pm. The Full Moon Program begins at 7:15pm.

CRIA’S Lecture Series on Thursday, September 14 with special presentation by Dr. Laurie Webster: “Ancient Textiles, Baskets, Wood, and Hides from Southeastern Utah: Latest Findings from the Cedar Mesa Perishables Project.”
During the 1890s, local “cowboy” archaeologists excavated thousands of prehistoric perishable artifacts from alcoves in southeastern Utah. Most were shipped to museums outside of the Southwest, where they were largely forgotten by archaeologists and the public. Who were these early collectors, where did these objects go, and what insights do they provide about the ingenuity and daily lives of the early inhabitants of southeastern Utah? In this presentation, Laurie Webster will discuss her recent research with these collections and highlight some of the extraordinary 1000 to 2000-year-old textiles, baskets, hides, wooden implements, and other perishable artifacts from sites in this region.

Dr. Laurie Webster is an anthropologist who specializes in the perishable material culture of the American Southwest. She is a visiting scholar in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona and a Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History and the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Her publications include the edited volume “Beyond Cloth and Cordage: Archaeological Textile Research in the Americas,” and the books “Navajo Weaving: The Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science,” and “Collecting the Weaver’s Art: The William Claflin Collection of Southwestern Textiles,” as well as numerous articles about prehistoric perishable technologies. She lives in Mancos, Colorado.

The lecture is free of charge and will begin at 7:00pm at The Springs Resort and Spa (Ecoluxe Building) located at 165 Hot Springs Blvd. The public is invited to join CRIA for their social hour preceding the lecture at 6:00pm. Please bring your favorite finger-food to share and join our volunteers to learn more about this non-profit organization which operates the interpretive program at Chimney Rock National Monument in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the San Juan National Forest.

Autumnal Equinox Sunrise Program: Friday, September 22
Watch the sun rise over the San Juans this first day of autumn and discuss how the ancients may have lived, and why they celebrated the equinoxes. This 2-3 hour event begins at the Sun Tower, a place not visited on our regular tours. Tickets are $15 and reservations are required. The HWY 151 gate will be open from 6:00am to 6:05am. Sunrise is at approximately 6:56 am.

Chimney Rock National Monument is 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 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. Most programs are at full capacity prior to the event but we will accommodate walk-ins if space is available.

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.


Nadia Werby

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