Chimney Rock National Monument, Pagosa Springs

Chimney Rock National Monument is a 4726acre U.S. National Monument in San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado which includes an archaeological site. This area is located in Archuleta County, Colorado between Durango and Pagosa Springs and is managed for archaeological protection, public interpretation, and education. The Chimney Rock Archaeological Site has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1970. U.S. President Barack Obama created Chimney Rock National Monument by proclamation on September 21, 2012 under authority of the Antiquities Act.GeographyChimney Rock lies on 4,726 acres of San Juan National Forest land surrounded by the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Chimney Rock itself occupies 1,000 acres of the site, and is approximately 315 feet tall. Next to Chimney Rock is Companion Rock, which is a popular nesting spot for the Peregrine Falcon.The primary settlements that have been excavated lie on the ridge that eventually terminates at Chimney Rock. The ridge is mostly bedrock made of sandstone.HistoryThe rock itself is over 535 million years old, and offers 75-mile panoramic views of the local area. The Ancestral Puebloan site, designated on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, was a community inhabited between Durango and Pagosa Springs about 1,000 years ago with about 200 rooms. Rooms in the buildings were used for living, work areas and ceremonial purposes. The site is located within the San Juan National Forest Archaeological Area on 4,100 acres of land. Between May 15 and September 30 the Visitor Center is open and guided walking tours are conducted daily.
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Chimney Rock National Monument Reviews
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  • Took a friend to the full moon program and was delighted by the music of Charles Martinez playing the flute while waiting for the moon to rise. As clouds moved in the chance to see the moon come up di...  more »
  • My wife and I visited Chimney Rock National Monument twice while in Colorado. The first time we went on a guided tour with an very knowledgeable guide who educated us to the early ancients who resided...  more »
  • We arrived at the Chimney Rock National Monument for a 9:30 am. tour. The weather was very mild and we had an excellent, volunteer tour guide that was extremely knowledgeable about this Native America...  more »
Google
  • Great stop and worth the small fee. Shuttle can take you to beginning of trails and brings you back down. Much better than driving as road is gravel and one way. Sue, the guide, did an excellent job.
  • Educational, great views, and helpful national park staff. Only a few minutes off the main highway (160) and well worth the visit.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Visited a few days ago and it's a must see! The guide was full of information about the people and kivas. Go to first morning tour! There was only 8 in our group which made the questions easy and conversation more intimate. As we were climbing down, the next group going up was 20+!
  • Chimney Rock is a historical area with rich culture. Just imagining how people were living there is astounding and a difficult experience. Fire signals were displayed over 90 miles to signify events. A place with a lot of mystery and still not 100% explored Chimney Rock is amazing and a part of history.
  • A great local national monument. The tour guides are passionate and great. The site itself is quite interesting, with a lot of history. In winter, one can snowshoe up to the site for a unique (and tough and exhausting!) experience.

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