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By Nadia Werby
Special to The SUN
A Full Moon Program and a Visions of Chimney Rock Program are scheduled this month at Chimney Rock National Monument
On Monday, July 22, view the full moon against the backdrop of the Great House Pueblo at the top of Chimney Rock Mesa. The nearly 360-degree view of the mountain-studded horizon provides the dramatic celestial observatory valued so highly by the Ancient Puebloans.
A speaker tells the story of the people and their likely relationship with the moon, sun and stars. Watch the full moon rise over the eastern mountain peaks to the music of a Native American flute.
You’ll be torn between looking west to see the spectacular sunset or focusing on the eastern mountain range to see the first sliver of moon.
Volunteers light the trail down from the mesa top after the program. The program lasts approximately four hours, including check-in, driving to the mesa top and walking to the site. The hike to the Great House Pueblo is short, but moderately strenuous and not appropriate for those with mobility impairment or children under 12 years old.
Reservations are required. Tickets are $15 for this program designed for folks 12 years and older. Add $5 for an early tour of the lower area (Great Kiva Trail Loop), which starts at 5:15 p.m. All participants must be through the Colo. 151 gate by 6:30 and the program begins at 7:15. Bring flashlights, water (also for sale at the cabin), cushions, and blankets or coats.
For tickets, visit the website at www.chimneyrockco.org. Tickets can be booked online up until two hours before the event. Walk-ins will be accommodated when space is available. After the Full Moon Program, guests will be given the opportunity view the surface of the moon with our wonderful telescopes for an additional $5.
CRIA offers a free, family-friendly Vision of Chimney Rock program on Sunday, July 28.
This is a kids-friendly program limited to a small group, so reservations are encouraged. This month’s program will consist of an educational presentation by Charles Martinez, a local Native American flute player. Charles will discuss music in ancestral and modern Native American culture, especially drums. Guests will have the opportunity to do some drumming and learn about other traditional instruments.
The program is suitable for those with limited time and people who cannot do the walking tour, especially older adults and young children, those with physical limitations, and those who work during the week.
Reserve your spot by visiting the website at www.chimneyrockco.org . 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. No reservations are needed for the tours.
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 for more information.