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Chimney Rock Local Appreciation Days, Night Sky Program

This Memorial Day weekend (Friday, May 27-Monday, May 30), Archuleta County residents can enjoy half-price tours at Chimney Rock Archeological Area.

Guided tours take place at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., and 1 and 2 p.m. The guided walking tours average about 2-2.5 hours long. Discounted prices are adults/$5; children 5-11/$2.50; under 5/always free.

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area will host the Night Sky Archaeoastronomy Program Friday, June 3. This program includes a one-hour astronomy lecture at the cabin and provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the visible celestial objects. Native American flute melodies and storytelling by Charles Martinez on the topic of Navajo constellations will open the program. Following a lecture on naked-eye astronomy of the Ancestral Puebloans, the solar system and the universe, participants will drive to the upper parking lot of the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area for approximately 1.5 hours of night-sky viewing. Telescopes will be available to assist with viewing.

The gate will open for the Night Sky Program at 6:30 p.m.; the opening program is scheduled from 7:30-8:30; with viewing from 9-10:30. Reservations are suggested as space is limited, or tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Cabin prior to the program: $10 for adults and $5 for children 11 years and younger. The upper parking area is paved and wheelchair accessible, with restroom facilities. Participants in the Night Sky Program are advised to come prepared with binoculars, water (which is also for sale at the cabin), flashlights, blankets and coats. Call (970) 883-5359 (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily) for reservations and information or visit our website at www.chimneyrockco.org.

Chimney Rock Archaeology Area is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160 and three miles south on Colo. 151. Turn right at the gate and follow the road one half mile to the cabin registration area where the tours begin. No reservations are needed for the tours. Details at www.chimneyrockco.org or call 883-5359 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily.

CRIA operates in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the San Juan National Forest. For the full 2011 Season Calendar, go to www.chimneyrockco.org.

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