Chimney Rock National Monument
On September 21, 2012, President Barack Obama proclaimed Chimney Rock a National Monument, making it the seventh national monument managed by the USDA Forest Service. The Chimney Rock a National Monument encompasses 4,726 acres of the San Juan National Forest between Durango and Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
Chimney Rock FAQ's
At Chimney Rock you can imagine the landscape as it was a thousand years ago, with cultivated fields and settlements extending from the valley floors to the mesa tops. Chimney Rock represents one of the largest Pueblo II (900-1150 AD) communities in southwestern Colorado and is considered a Chacoan cultural “outlier.” The Chaco phenomenon was a complex system of dispersed communities bound by economic, political and religious interdependence centered in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.
The area continues to hold special significance for today’s Native American peoples. More than 150 documented archaeological resources grouped into eight clusters at Chimney Rock date back to the Pueblo II period. Architectural structures include pit houses, great kivas, and great houses.
The pinnacles that give Chimney Rock its name frame multiple astronomical alignments. The Ancestral Puebloans incorporated their knowledge of astronomy into the design of their community. Today Chimney Rock is one of the best recognized archaeo-astronomical resources in North America, with alignments with the northern lunar standstill, summer solstice, equinoxes and Crab Nebula.
The Chimney Rock Interpretive Program is managed and staffed by the U.S. Forest Service and volunteer Chimney Rock Interpretive Association. In addition to daily guided walking tours from May 15 to Sept. 30, special events and school tours are also offered. For more information and a schedule, go to: www.chimneyrockco.org