Autumnal Equinox Tour

Chimney Rock National Monument Tours

The Autumnal Equinox Tour is offered only once a season at Chimney Rock National Monument. The 2024 event will occur on Sunday, September 22. Come to this special place and watch the sun rise over the San Juan Mountains this first morning of fall. With a 360-degree vantage point and the hush of early morning in the wilderness, the rising sun witnessed from the Great House Pueblo is a most unique experience. Such celestial events were of utmost importance to the Ancient Ones, and we will discuss the significance the equinox played in the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans.

It is a 3-mile drive to the trailhead and a 30 to 45-minute uphill hike to the Great House Pueblo in pre-dawn darkness. The hike may be difficult for some due to the steep gradient, uneven footing, and elevation ending at 7600 feet. The elevation gain is 200 feet. Participants should be in reasonable physical condition and willing to hike mostly uphill for 1/3 mile (and return steeply downhill). At the end of the trail, visitors will be rewarded with a panoramic view from atop the mesa ridge. They will also enjoy the closest view possible from the two pinnacles: Chimney Rock and Companion Rock. Bring a good flashlight and dress appropriately. Sunrise is at 7:00 am, with the return hike down the trail taking place in daylight.

Check-in is at the Highway 151 entrance gate from 5 am to 5:30 am. Please adhere to the check-in timeline. The gate will be promptly locked at the end of that time. Tickets are $20.00 for ages 13 and up, $10.00 for ages 5-12, and under 5 are free. Making a reservation through the website or its call center (877-444-6777) is the only way to guarantee a spot for this tour. charges a $1.00 reservation fee that is non-refundable. To ensure this tour is scheduled, reservations are strongly recommended. Reservations will be cut off 12 hours prior to the start of the tour. Most tours are at full capacity prior to the event, but walk-ins will be accommodated if space is available. They will be accepted on a first come, first served basis, and must arrive during the specified check-in time frame. Tour tickets can be purchased directly from the guide with cash only. Note: if no one has signed up for the tour by online reservation within the allotted time frame, the tour will not run. No refunds will be issued for no-shows.


Sunday, September 22

Check-in: 5:15 a.m. – 5:30 a.m.

Tour: 5:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.

Capacity: 25

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