Chimney Rock National Monument

Chimney Rock Monument Pinnacles

On September 21, 2012, President Barack Obama proclaimed Chimney Rock National Monument, making it the seventh national monument managed by the USDA Forest Service. The Chimney Rock National Monument encompasses 4,726 acres of the San Juan National Forest between Durango and Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

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, special events and school tours are also offered.

  • Chimney Rock National Monument is closed for the 2020 season.
  • Hours of operation: 9:00am - 4:30pm
  • For the most up-to-date information: 
  • Call 970-883-5359 | May 15 through September 30
  • Call 970-731-7133 | October 1 through May 14
  • Visit www.chimneyrockco.org

Background

Chimney Rock siteAt 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.

Additional Resources

Click here to access the Chimney Rock National Monument Management Plan signed 10/28/15.

Chimney Rock site 2

 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sanjuan/home/?cid=stelprdb5390324