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Full moon program at Chimney Rock tonight

By Nadia Werby
Special to The PREVIEW

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) invites you to watch the full moon rise above the San Juan Mountains while listening to live Native American flute music by Charles Martinez tonight, Thursday, June 12, at Chimney Rock National Monument.

Volunteers light the trail to the mesa top, where visitors will learn about the monument from a special full moon speaker and experience the view of the moon rising from the ridge where the Puebloan Great House is located. A walking tour of the Great Kiva and Pit House are also offered. There is a $15 fee for attending and an additional $5 to add the early tour that starts at 5:50 p.m. The Colo. 151 gate will open at 5:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7:30 p.m.

Our full moon guest speaker this month is G.B. Cornucopia, an interpretive ranger from Chaco Culture National Historic Park. Cornucopia is in charge of the night sky program at Chaco and has been a practicing astronomer for over 40 years. Cornucopia is likely the single most knowledgeable person on the astronomy of the ancient puebloan culture here in the southwest. He has thorough understanding of the particular ancient astronomy alignments here at Chimney Rock, as well as the links between Chimney Rock and Chaco Canyon.

The trail to the Great House Pueblo, where the full moon program takes place rises 200 feet in elevation over one-third mile (one way). The trail is unimproved and includes a steep, rocky section. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring a flashlight. Water is encouraged, but all other food and beverages are banned outside of your vehicle on the mesa top. This is a reservations-only program, not suitable for children under 12. Please visit www.chimneyrockco.org for reservations or call (877) 444-6777. Most programs at Chimney Rock are at full capacity prior to the event but we will accommodate walk-ins if space is available.

Chimney Rock is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs and 3 miles south on Colo. 151. CRIA is a nonprofit organization that runs the daily operations and interpretive program at Chimney Rock National Monument in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the San Juan National Forest.

This story was posted on June 12, 2014.