CHIMNEY ROCK NATIONAL MONUMENT, CO
2.5 hour Walking TourHistoric Tour
2 hr. 30 min.
Plan to spend two and a half hours for this guided tour as a trained volunteer tells the story of the people who lived at the Monument 1,000 years ago. The tour includes both the Pueblo Trail and the Great Kiva Trail. Guests will see a 44-foot diameter excavated great kiva. Also on this easy trail, there's an excavated pit house, a typical residence of the ancient ones and a sacred archeoastronomy site. The unimproved natural Pueblo Trail is a 1/2 mile round trip with a 200-foot elevation gain, topping out at 7,600-feet elevation. The Pueblo Trail features a multi-family dwelling and several unexcavated structures. At the top, Chimney Rock's Chacoan-style Great House Pueblo is spectacular against the backdrop of the San Juan Mountains.
Daily May to September
- Duration: 2 hr. 30 min.
- Distance: 1 miles
- Number of Steps: 20
- Accessible: Yes
- Effort: Moderate
Know Before You Go
- Visitors should check in at the Visitor Center located one-half mile inside the entrance gate.
- Dress for outdoor weather: wind, insects, cool temperatures, etc., should be considered.
- Please wear sturdy walking shoes, sunblock, and hat.
- Each person attending should have water and a flashlight.
- Attendees may bring a cushion or blanket to sit on; no chairs are allowed.
- For your own safety, stay for the entire program. This is an adult program and not suitable for children under 12 years of age.
- Please note: moon does not rise between the pinnacles.
- Ancient structures are not visible from a vehicle.
- During operating hours, all access to the archaeological sites is via tour/program operated under agreement with the Forest Service by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, a not-for-profit, volunteer organization. Fees are for tours and programs and not an entry fee. Fees are used to support the interpretive programs and maintain the site. All fees are non-refundable.
- You are responsible for the safety of yourself and family. This is a high desert location: proper hydration and sun protection are vital to your comfort and safety. Bring water (or hydration liquid such as Gatorade). Drinking water throughout tours and programs is highly encouraged. Bottled water and Gatorade are available for purchase at the Visitor Center but there are no other potable water sources at the site.
- If you have an issue with heights and or physical exertion you may find the trail to the Great House Pueblo challenging.
- Pit toilet-style restrooms are available at the Visitor Center and the upper parking lot.
- Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted anywhere in the National Monument.
- Pets are not permitted on trails but there are some kennels available at the Visitor Center. It is not safe to leave pets in vehicles as parking areas provide little shade.
- Except for water and Gatorade-type drinks, food and beverages are allowed only at the Visitor Center area or inside private vehicles.
The first half of this 2.5 hour tour is paved and ADA accessible and is one-third-mile. There's an excavated pit house and Great Kiva on this accessible trail. The second half of the tour is not accessible.
From Pagosa Springs, Colorado: Drive 16 miles west on Hwy 160 from Pagosa Springs to the Hwy 151 turnoff to Chimney Rock National Monument. Turn left onto Hwy 151 and drive 3 miles south to the entrance of Chimney Rock National Monument. Turn right and drive through the entrance gate 1/2 mile to the Visitor Center.
From Durango, Colorado: Drive 44 miles east on Hwy 160 from Durango to the Hwy 151 turnoff to Chimney Rock National Monument. Turn right onto Hwy 151 and drive 3 miles south to the entrance of Chimney Rock National Monument. Turn right and drive through the entrance gate 1/2 mile to the Visitor Center.
Note: The entrance gate is open 9:00am to 4:30pm daily in-season May 15 to September 30.
Note: Some Tours may be available only from the Tour Park on a first-come-first-served basis. Arrival dates earlier than the online-reservation-window may also be available at the Tour Park.