This combination package begins at the upper parking lot with a one-hour guided tour of the one-third-mile paved Mesa Village Trail loop. The beautiful mountain views on this easy trail will lead you to a 44-foot diameter excavated great kiva, probably a community gathering place for those who lived at the site 1,000 years ago. Also on this trail is an excavated pit house, a typical home of the ancient Puebloans. Volunteers will then light the trail to the Great House Pueblo at the mesa top for the Full Moon program before the twin spires. The program includes an informative lecture on topics specific to the Chimney Rock site, such as the ancestral Puebloan culture, archaeoastronomy theories, or area geology.
Then, guests watch the full moon rise to the music of Charles Martinez' Native American flute. (This moon-rise does not occur between the spires.) Youll 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 - allow 15 minutes each way), 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. This program is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Tickets are $25.00 plus 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 to 4:00 Mountain Time. Reservations strongly recommended. Limited space. Walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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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.