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By Nadia Werby
Special to The SUN
As summer starts winding down, we wish it could go on for longer. But, there is still time to visit Chimney Rock National Monument. View the stars or the full moon, or take a tour of this spectacular monument where the Ancient Puebloans used to live. Chimney Rock offers monthly programs, annual events and daily guided and self-guided tours that are fun and educational for the whole family.
On Friday, Aug. 1, Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) is proud to sponsor the Moon Viewing Plus Program. This program includes an interactive discussion at the visitor cabin on the archaeoastronomy of Chimney Rock and then visitors drive to the upper parking lot for telescope viewing of specific moon locations. As the moon is setting, focus will shift to deeper-sky objects and any man-made object that comes into view. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-16. The Colo. 151 gate will open at 6:45 p.m. Program starts at 7:15 p.m. and ends at 8:15 p.m. Observing starts at 8:45 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m.
The Full Moon Program will take place this month on Sunday, Aug. 10. Visitors will hear Native American flute music by Charles Martinez and experience the view of the moon rising from the ridge where the Puebloan Great House is located. This program is not recommended for children under 12. There is a $15 fee for attending and an additional $5 to add the early tour, which starts at 5:25 p.m. The program starts at 7 p.m. and the moonrise is at 8 p.m.
The Night Sky Archaeoastronomy Program will take place on Friday, Aug. 22. This monthly program begins with a talk at the visitor cabin amphitheater. Topics range from what the ancient people noticed in the night sky to how a telescope helps us see the stars. As darkness descends, guests drive to the high mesa parking lot, where volunteer astronomers await with telescopes to provide a closer look at the wonders of the night sky. Each telescope will focus on a different feature and a volunteer will change that focus periodically during the two-hour viewing time.
This program is perfect for young families and those with limited mobility. The Colo. 151 gate will open at 6:15 p.m. The program starts at 6:45 p.m. and ends at 7:45 p.m. Observing starts at 8:15 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m. Reservations are suggested as space is limited. The price for this program is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-16.
Visit this Ancient Puebloan cultural site located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160 and 3 miles south on Colo. 151. The site is also accessible for guided walking tours at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and self-guided walking tours are available between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. The cost of the tour is $12 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-16, and under 5 is free.
For guided tours tickets or monthly program tickets, 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 on guided tours and for the monthly and annual programs. Some programs are at full capacity prior to the event, but we will accommodate walk-ins if space is available. Booking fees do not apply to walk-ins.