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Chimney Rock National Monument, Pagosa Springs

Categories: Ruins, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
3.7/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web
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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  • Be sure to take the guided tour. So much history here. Pre-concieved ideas went right out the window. Don't skip the gift shop. More local history. The monument does close for the season at the end of...  read more »
  • Tom shared with us a detailed and fun presentation of the archeological and social history of this incredible site at the 11am 9/27 tour.. we also attended the sept 30 night sky star gazing hosted by ...  read more »
  • We got here too late for visiting the ruins, but perfectly timed for the night sky archaeoastronomy program. We missed the signup but were able to join. With several speakers giving background of the ...  read more »
  • I'm sure chimney rock would have been cool, however they close at 3pm. We drove in at 3:12 not knowing the time, i walked up to check in, the lady was extremely rude. She told me it was closed and we couldnt even hike up, when i asked her what time it was she told me, and informed me that there were multiple signs saying it closes at 3. If i knew that it was after 3 i obviously would not have tried to check in. Very displeased with the staff.
  • 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.
  • Nice little tucked away monument that is pretty new to the system. Pretty views and some ruins to explore. This is a great stop on your way though the area.
  • great scenery during the day, beautiful stars at night
  • The site is neat. The setting is astounding! If you know anything of Chaco culture you would understand that is definitely more of a roadside attraction and not the main event. This is where I have a HUGE issue. You can visit Chaco, a world herritage center, or Mesa Verde for $12 a vehicle or $10 a vehicle respectively. This site will make you pay through the nose! $12 for persons 16 and up, $5 for children. So my family of 4 paid $34 to drive up to the site and tour a short 30 minute less than 1/4 mile loop, and leave. NOT.WORTH.THE.DRIVE.
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