Timed for when the moon is absent from the sky, this program enables guests to enjoy the night sky in a truly dark-sky environment and see fainter objects that the moons light would normally obscure. The Hwy 151 Entry Gate will open an hour before sunset, for check-in and driving to the High Mesa parking lot, where volunteers await with telescopes. While we wait for our eyesight to adjust to the growing darkness, we'll hear a short talk to prepare us for viewing the night sky. Topics may include how the ancient people who periodically inhabited the site lived, how they used the unique landscape of the Chimney Rock area to view the sky, what special astronomical events they might have seen, and what we will see in the evening's viewing. At the viewing area, each telescope will focus on a different feature, and the volunteers will change that focus periodically during the viewing time. Viewing is scheduled to continue until about one hour after maximum darkness. Guests may depart from the viewing area whenever they choose.
NOTE: Due to the current corona virus situation we will not be able to use the telescopes. The program will remain educational and a visual night time treat.
Remember that at this altitude the nights begin to cool rapidly after sunset, so an appropriate jacket or sweater will enable you to remain comfortable while you enjoy the majesty of the night sky at Chimney Rock. This program is perfect for young families and those with limited mobility. Visitors traveling with their own telescope are encouraged to bring it to the program and share it with others.
Tickets are $16.00 (adults) and $8.00 (children 5-12) 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 - 4:00 Mountain Time. Reservations strongly recommended. Limited space. Walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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Reservations will be cut off 2 hours prior to start of program.