The Full Moon program takes place against the backdrop of the Great House Pueblo at the top of Chimney Rock Mesa. Beginning about an hour before moonrise, an informative lecture on topics specific to the Chimney Rock site (ancestral Puebloan culture, archaeoastronomy theories, area geology, etc.) is followed by the music of Charles Martinez’ Native American flute as the full moon rises. (This moonrise does not occur between the spires.) You'll be torn between looking west to see the spectacular sunset and focusing on the eastern mountain range to see the first sliver of moon.
The program lasts approximately three hours including check-in, driving to the mesa top (2.5 miles up a winding dirt road with 20-mph speed limit - allow 15 minutes each way), and hiking to the Great House Pueblo. The quarter-mile trail to the Great House Pueblo has a 200-foot gain in elevation and exposure to heights and steep drop-offs. Please keep in mind that the lecture before the moon rises is approximately 30 minutes in length, and the hike back down the high mesa occurs after dark. Parents are asked to closely supervise their children for the safety of all attendees.
On May 15, the Full Moon program also includes viewing of the total lunar eclipse.
This program is recommended for ages 8 and up.
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.
Tickets are $20.00 plus a booking fee and are non-refundable. 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.
Lunar eclipse: Sunday, May 15, 2022: Arrive for check-in and drive-plus-hike to program location 6:30pm - 7:00pm (entry gate will be locked at 7:00pm).
Select a date to see a list of times
Be sure to arrive within the check-in period; gate will be closed at the end of that period.
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.
Water is available for purchase at the Visitor Center but there is no other potable water source 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 is 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.
Special interpretive programs are offered by Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA), a not-for-profit volunteer organization, under agreement with the Forest Service. Program fees are used to support the interpretive programs and activities presented by CRIA. All fees are non-refundable.
Ancient structures are not visible from a vehicle.
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 2 hours prior to start of program.
For your own safety, stay for the entire program.