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Autumnal Equinox Sunrise Program at Chimney Rock

By Nadia Werby
Special to The SUN

Photo courtesy CRIA As the fall colors begin to appear, the Chimney Rock National Monument tour season winds down, ending at the close of day on Monday, Sept. 30. In the meantime, this Sunday, Sept. 22, the first day of fall, provides a unique opportunity for visitors who want to start the day at Chimney Rock’s Autumnal Equinox Sunrise Program.

Photo courtesy CRIA
As the fall colors begin to appear, the Chimney Rock National Monument tour season winds down, ending at the close of day on Monday, Sept. 30. In the meantime, this Sunday, Sept. 22, the first day of fall, provides a unique opportunity for visitors who want to start the day at Chimney Rock’s Autumnal Equinox Sunrise Program.

There is still time to enjoy Chimney Rock this year.

The 2013 Chimney Rock National Monument tour season ends at the close of day on Monday, Sept. 30. But wait … there’s more!

This Sunday, Sept. 22, is the first day of fall. Start the day at Chimney Rock’s Autumnal Equinox Sunrise Program.

This is the day that the sun crosses the equator and spends an equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on earth. This 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 volunteer program leader will describe several alignments at Chimney Rock and their possible importance to ancient residents.

Guests must be through the Colo. 151 gate by 6:05 a.m. Sunrise is at approximately 6:56.

Tickets are $15, plus a booking fee, and are non-refundable. For reservations,  visit www.chimneyrockco.org or call (877) 444-6777.  Reservations can be made online up until two hours before the event. Walk-ins will be accommodated when space is available.

Chimney Rock National Monument 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.

All programs are sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Assn., Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the San Juan National Forest. Visit the website at www.chimneyrockco.org.

This story was posted on September 19, 2013.