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View the stars through telescopes at Chimney Rock National Monument

By Nadia Werby
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Howard Rowe The Milky Way as viewed from Chimney Rock.  

Photo courtesy Howard Rowe
The Milky Way as viewed from Chimney Rock.

As summer comes to an end, now is the time to get outside and view the stars at night. Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) invites you to view the stars through telescopes where the Ancient Puebloans once resided.

The Night Sky Archaeoastronomy Program at Chimney Rock National Monument 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 10 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 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 tour 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. Most 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.

This story was posted on August 21, 2014.