This 2.5 hour guided tour explores local geology and its relationship to the daily lives of the ancestral Puebloans who lived at Chimney Rock. Tour participants will hear the events in the ancient geology of the area and learn how to identify a common trace fossil in the area. Rock types impact structures, pottery, tools, and soil productivity; geologic processes determine the landscape, and, at Chimney Rock, play a central role in climate. The relationship between the pillars and the South San Juan Mountains in terms of astronomical observations will be discussed.
No prior knowledge of geology is assumed.
The hike up to the Chacoan Great House Pueblo offers great views and photo opportunities, but may be difficult for some due to the steep gradient, uneven footing, and elevation ending at 7600 feet. Participants should be in reasonable physical condition and willing to hike mostly uphill for 1/3 mile (and return steeply downhill). The tour length includes 30 minutes for hiking to and from the Great House.
Guests must enter through the Hwy 151 entry gate during the check-in period stated below; the gate will be locked at the end of that time.
These are reservations-only programs. The fee is $16.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 5-12, and is considered a non-refundable and non-transferable donation. A booking fee applies to each ticket purchased online or through the call center. Making a reservation through the call center or website is the only way to guarantee a spot on this tour.
Most programs are at full capacity prior to the event but we will accommodate walk-ins if space is available. Booking fees do not apply to walk-ins. In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, rain checks will be available. For details, please call the Visitor Cabin (970-883-5359) 9:00 - 4:00 Mountain Time. Reservations strongly recommended. Limited space. Walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Select a date to see a list of times
Ancient structures are not visible from a vehicle.
During operating hours, all interpreted access to the archaeological sites is via tour/program operated under agreement with the Forest Service by Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, a not-for-profit volunteer organization. There is no entry fee. Fees are for tours and programs, and 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 your 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 is available for sale at the Visitor Cabin, but there is no other potable water on site.
Pit-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.
If you have an issue with heights and/or physical exertion, you may find the trail to the Great House Pueblo challenging.
Visitors should check in at Visitor Cabin located 1/2 mile inside entrance gate.
Dress for outdoor weather: wind, insects, cool or hot temperatures, etc., should be considered. No shade on trails.
Wear sturdy walking shoes, sunblock, and hat.
Pets (other than service animals) are not permitted on the trails, but there are a few kennels available at the Visitor Center. It is not safe to leave pets in vehicles or tied to vehicles, as parking areas do not provide shade.
We encourage guests to stay hydrated in this dry climate, but please be sure to use the trash receptacles at the upper restroom and/or Cabin areas; rodents are attracted to food scraps and can damage the archaeological sites.
Reservations will be cut off 12 hours prior to start of program.
For your own safety, stay for the entire program.
No late arrivals; the entry gate closes 15 minutes before tour time.