If you've never been to Chimney Rock National Monument, take this opportunity to learn more about the people who lived at this wondrous site 1,000 years ago. You'll walk the 1/3-mile paved Mesa Village Trail with a trained volunteer guide, then climb the Great House Pueblo Trail to join the Full Moon program.
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 complete package lasts approximately four hours including check-in, driving to the mesa top (2.5 miles up a winding dirt road with 20-mph speed limit), touring the Mesa Village trail, 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. Water, flashlights, blanket or mat for ground seating (no chairs) are recommended.
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.
This is a reservations-only program, not suitable for children under 8. Programs often sell out.
Tickets are $25.00 and are considered a non-refundable, 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.
Tuesday May 25
Wednesday June 23
Thursday July 22
Saturday August 21
Monday September 20
ALL dates: Arrive for check-in 6:30 – 6:45 PM; Early Tour leaves Visitor Cabin at 6:45 PM. Full Moon Program starts 8:15-8:20; moonrise 9:10 – 9:20
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 2 hours prior to start of program.
Bring water, flashlight, jacket, walking shoes.
Attendees may bring a cushion or blanket to sit on, but no chairs are allowed.
For your own safety, stay for the entire program.
No late arrivals; the entry gate closes 15 minutes before tour time.