July events at Chimney Rock National Monument

By Nadia Werby
Special to The SUN
There is so much to learn and experience at Chimney Rock National Monument. Chimney Rock offers monthly programs, annual events and daily guided and audio-guided tours that will bring this beautiful site to life so you can visualize what it might have been like to live here 1,000 years ago.
Due to the wet and cold temperatures, Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) had to cancel the Solstice on the San Juan event that was to take place on Saturday, June 22. We apologize for any inconvenience. The CRIA board of trustees will be meeting this Thursday and will decide what the next steps will be. Please check next week’s newspaper for details.
The Chimney Rock Geology Tour will take place on Wednesday, July 3. This 1.5-hour guided tour only takes place twice a year and explores local geology and its relationship to the daily lives of the ancestral Puebloans who lived at Chimney Rock. No prior knowledge of geology is needed. The fee is $16 for adults and $8 for ages 5-12, and is considered a nonrefundable donation.
CRIA offers two different Night Sky Archaeoastronomy Programs; Our Solar System on Friday, July 5, and Stars and Galaxies on July 26. For both programs, your evening begins with an amazing sunset and interactive discussion at the Mesa Village Trailhead just off the high mesa parking lot. After the discussion, volunteer astronomers await with telescopes to provide a closer look at the wonders of the night sky. Tickets are $16 (adults) and $8 (children 5-12) plus booking fee, and are nonrefundable.
CRIA is proud to present the Stories at Sunset Program at Chimney Rock National Monument on Monday, July 8. At this family-friendly event, guests gather at the Great Kiva off the Mesa Village Trail as sunset approaches for this rare glimpse into Native American culture, history and stories hosted by Native Americans from various tribes across the southwest.
Afterward, guests return to the upper parking lot to enjoy one of Chimney Rock’s spectacular sunsets. Tickets are $15/adult and $5/child (5-12). Prior to the Stories at Sunset program, a guided tour of the Pueblo Trail will be offered for 25 people. Following the tour, guests will attend the Stories at Sunset program. Tickets for this combination package are $20/adult and $7.50/child (5-12).
For July, the awe-inspiring Full Moon program takes place on July 16. The Full Moon Program occurs against the backdrop of the Great House Pueblo at the top of Chimney Rock Mesa. The program includes an informative lecture on topics specific to the Chimney Rock site. Then, guests watch the full moon rise to the live music of Charles Martinez’s Native American flute. The program lasts approximately three hours including check-in, driving to the mesa top and hiking to the Great House Pueblo. There is a $20 fee for attending or $25 to attend the Full Moon Program with an early tour.
CRIA’s annual Life at Chimney Rock Festival will take place July 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Family activities and interactive demonstrations of the skills of the ancients will include yucca pounding, making a clay pot, designing a pictograph, weaving, grinding corn and throwing a spear with the atlatl.
Come prepared to shop and talk with 12 Pueblo, Navajo and Jicarilla Apache artists. Purchase a delicious Indian taco, fry bread, cota tea or oven bread from our Santo Domingo Pueblo chefs. They’ll also be serving free samples of Anasazi beans.
Visitors can watch CRIA volunteers demonstrate flint knapping, dendrochronology, the “Agents of Discovery” app and sand painting. Pat Jackson, from St. Francis Wildlife Rehabilitation and Sanctuary in Arboles, will have her rescued peregrine falcon on display and Martinez will play live Native American flute music. Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about how the ancients viewed the night sky. Bring the whole family. Entry to the festival is free.
Chimney Rock National Monument is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs and 3 miles south on Colo. 151. For more information about our monthly programs and tour times, please visit www.chimneyrockco.org or call (877) 444-6777. A booking fee applies to each ticket purchased online or through the call center. Purchasing your tickets in advance is the only way to guarantee a spot for the monthly and annual programs. Most programs are at full capacity prior to the event, but we will accommodate walk-ins if space is available.
CRIA is a nonprofit organization which operates the interpretive program at Chimney Rock National Monument under a participating agreement with the USDA Forest Service/San Juan National Forest. For more information, please visit our website at www.chimneyrockco.org.

This story was posted on June 28, 2019.