Geology Tour

Chimney Rock National Monument Tours

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 be taken on a journey through geologic time and learn what the rocks present at Chimney Rock today tell us about the geography of Southwest Colorado over time. Participants will also learn how to identify the common rocks and fossils 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. The tour also covers the key points discussed in the archaeological focused tours like the Great House Tour.

No prior knowledge of geology is required.

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 with 200 feet of elevation change). The tour length includes 30 minutes for hiking to and from the Great House. 

Guests must meet their guide at the Hwy 151 entry gate during the check-in period stated below; the gate will be locked at the end of that time.  Please note that the tour will begin promptly at the end of the check-in period, so it will not be possible to accommodate late arrivals.

Guests will make a reservaion using the website. The fee is $20.00 for ages 13 and older and $10.00 for ages 5-12, and is considered a non-refundable and non-transferable donation. A reservation 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.   

This program is rarely at full capacity prior to the event and we will accommodate walk-ins if space is available. Reservations are strongly recommended, however, as space is sometimes limited. Walk-ins will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, but must arrive during the specified check-in time frame. Cash would be required for walk-ins. NOTE: If no one has signed up for the tour by online reservation, then the tour will not run. In such case, walk-ins would not be possible.     

Program Dates/Times:  

Dates (Late Afternoon/Evening):

Tuesdays: May 21, 28

June 4, 11, 18, 25

July 2, 9, 16, 23

August 6, 13, 20

September 3, 10, 17

Check-in: 4:45 – 5:00 PM; Program: 5:00 – 7:30 PM

        Capacity: 25 

Dates: (Mornings):

Saturdays: May 18, 25

June 8, 15, 22, 29

July 6, 13, 20, 27

August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

September 7, 14, 21, 28

October 5, 12 

Check-in: 7:45 – 8:00 AM; Program: 8:00 – 10:30 AM 

        Capacity: 25 

Select a date to see a list of times

Need to Know

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