Visit Pagosa Springs - The Official Visitor's Guide to Pagosa Springs, Colorado | VisitPagosaSprings.com: Geology Tour

Tuesday, October 3 2023

Geology Tour @ Chimney Rock National Monument

Chimney Rock National Monument

Archaeological site
3179 CO-151
Chimney Rock, Colorado


This 2.5 hour guided tour explores local geology and its relationship to the daily lives of the ancestral Puebloans who lived at Chimney Rock. Tour participants will hear the events in the ancient geology of the area and learn how to identify a common trace fossil in the area. Rock types impact structures, pottery, tools, and soil productivity; geologic processes determine the landscape, and, at Chimney Rock, play a central role in climate. The relationship between the pillars and the South San Juan Mountains in terms of astronomical observations will be discussed.

No prior knowledge of geology is assumed.

The hike up to the Chacoan Great House Pueblo offers great views and photo opportunities, but may be difficult for some due to the steep gradient, uneven footing, and elevation ending at 7600 feet. Participants should be in reasonable physical condition and willing to hike mostly uphill for 1/3 mile (and return steeply downhill). The tour length includes 30 minutes for hiking to and from the Great House. 

Guests must enter through the Hwy 151 entry gate during the check-in period stated below; the gate will be locked at the end of that time. 

These are reservations-only programs. The fee is $16.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 5-12 and is considered a non-refundable and non-transferable donation. A booking fee applies to each ticket purchased online or through the call center. Making a reservation through the call center or website is the only way to guarantee a spot on this tour.   

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. Reservations strongly recommended. Limited space. Walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Program Dates/Times: 

Tuesdays & Saturdays (Morning):

Check-in: 7:45 – 8:00 AM; Program: 8:00 – 10:30 AM 

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. In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, rain checks will be available. For details, please call the Visitor Cabin (970-883-5359) 9:00 - 4:00 Mountain Time. Reservations strongly recommended. Limited space. Walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Standard Amenity Fee:

There is a $20/car or $10/motorcycle standard amenity fee for day use that is good for 5 days from the date of purchase.

– Pay the standard amenity fee in advance here: Recreation.gov
– Download the Recreation.gov Mobile APP - to purchase your pass in advance
– Pay with cash or credit card when you arrive
– Interagency, Access, Senior, Military, and 4th grader park passes will be accepted
   for National Monument access.

There is a separate fee for programs/tours.

Chimney Rock National Monument is day use only. Due to parking limitations at the upper parking lot, customers may occasionally need to wait at the visitor center.

None of the ancient structures are visible from the parking lot.

Special Programs and/or tours may be canceled due to threatening weather. If so, Rain Checks will be available.

There is no water at the site. Bottled water can be purchased at the Gift Shop.

All fees are considered as donations and are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Please wear sturdy shoes, sun protection, and proper clothing for high desert elevation with potential weather changes.

Pets (except for service animals) are not permitted on the interpretive trails. Please do not leave pets in your vehicle or tied outside as there is no shade.  A shaded, unmonitored, kennel is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Kennel locks are available to borrow from the Visitor Center. Dog owners must provide dog water.

There is limited power and phone service available.

Picnic tables and restrooms are available near the Visitor Center.

Tickets and more information. https://www.recreation.gov/ticket/facility/234787. 8am.

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