Chimney Rock National Monument

Chimney Rock National Monument

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.

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.

 

Plan Your Visit

Chimney Rock National Monument is day use only and is available on a first-come, first served basis. Due to parking limitations at the upper parking lot, customers may occasionally need to wait at the visitor center. 

Beginning on May 15th, 2022, Chimney Rock will transition to a new fee system. All vehicles and motorcycles will be subject to a activity pass fee - $20.00 / $10.00 (respectively). The activity pass fee provides 5 days of access to the Chimney Rock National Monument. 

Operating Hours and Seasons

Chimney Rock National Monument is open May 15th through September 30th from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Please, arrive no later than 3:30 pm. This is the minimum amount of time needed to visit the main site and visitor center. 

 

  • Chimney Rock Visitor Guide

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    Check out Chimney Rock National Monument's hours, amenities, sites, maps and more in our Visitor Guide.

  • Chimney Rock Interpretive Partner

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    Chimney Rock Interpretive Association promotes public education, interpretation, and stewardship of culture and history through guided tours and special events of the Chimney Rock National historic site.

 

Contact Information

  • Call 970-883-2455
    • Chimney Rock National Monument Visitor Center
      • May 15th through September 30th
  • Call 970-731-7133
    • October 1st through May 14th
  • Call 877-444-6777
    • Reservation Call Center for Special Programs
  • Visit www.chimneyrockco.org
  • Email chimneyrock@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

Chimney Rock site 2