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Special events and closing day at Chimney Rock

Watch the sun rise over the San Juans this first day of autumn, Wednesday Sept. 22, and discuss how the ancients may have lived, and why they celebrated the equinox.

Autumnal equinox marks the first day of autumn and is a day with equal amounts of daylight and nighttime. This unique, two- to three-hour event begins at the Sun Tower, a place not visited on our regular tours, and concludes at the Stone Basin providing two viewing locations. The gate is open from 6 to 6:05 a.m. Sunrise is at approximately 6:56. Tickets are $15 and reservations are required.

On Thursday, Sept. 23, watch the Full Harvest Moonrise at the Great House Pueblo site, learn about the Ancestral Puebloans, archaeoastronomy theories, area geology and enjoy Native American flute melodies by Charles Martinez.

Gates open from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Program begins at 6. Moonrise is at approximately 6:55. This moonrise will not occur between the twin spires. Allow approximately two to three hours for the entire program, which is not recommended for children under 12. Tickets are $15 and reservations are required. Add $5 for an early tour of the lower area (Great Kiva Trail Loop), which starts at 4:30 p.m. Participants are advised to come prepared with binoculars, water (which is also for sale at the cabin), flashlights, blankets and coats.

Thursday, Sept. 30, is the last day to enjoy guided and self-guided tours at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area. Tickets for all programs and daily tours are available by calling the Visitor Cabin at 883-5359, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

For more information, visit our website at www.chimneyrockco.org . Special events are sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Assn., Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, and the Pagosa Ranger District.