We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Should be a national monument” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chimney Rock National Monument

Chimney Rock National Monument
San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
970-883-5359
Website
Improve this listing
Type: Ancient Ruins, Outdoors
Activities: Hiking
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The most remote of the pueblo ruins in the Four Corners area
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Should be a national monument”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

Right off Highway 160 between Pagosa Springs and Durango is the archeological area for Chimney Rock. From the level of the valley below it looks only like some interesting rock formations. What you discover if you take the guided walking tour is that 1,000 years ago Chimney Rock and its Companion Rock were the center of a thriving settlement of peoples many of whom were connected with the Chaco Canyon people. And on the mesa adjacent to the rock formations are many restored stone and mortar buildings - from 1,000 years ago - using a variety of construction methods. Lots to be amazed by.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

48 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    32
    11
    3
    1
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Amazing Look at Pre-Puebloan Culture”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

Just attended the same full moonrise celebration at Chimney Rock as described by maw1122. Chimney Rock is about to become a National Monument. The Chacoan culture had a well developed understanding of the cycles of the sun and moon, Just so wonderful to see how developed they were in the 1100AD period. Very respectful crowd of around 100 folks attended. Excellent docent on the early tour. The astrologist was also excellen. Well worth an evening to better understand some fascinating history of the west. We are now into moon light tours after have great experiences at Yosemite and Bryce Canyon!!!

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Full moon rising”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

Went to Chimney Rock for full moon rising in August. Of course, it is beautiful and we really appreciated the astronomer talk and flute music. Quite fascinating. We were fortunate that there were few clouds. Most other days that week had lots of thunderstorms in afternoon, but not this day. Had made reservations 6 weeks in advance and paid extra fees. Unfortunately, we were told that there was no indication we had paid for the telescope portion so were not allowed to stay due to it being sold out - a bummer! Make sure you ask for everything and get specifics about what they offer during this event. And be aware that you may get bumped out. More popular now that it is in AAA magazine. Also moving toward National Monument. So - now it is more crowded and will likely get more crowded. Not sure how long they will be able to allow people to the top given the fragile structures.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Excellent tour guides”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

Our guide for the tour of the site, Joan, was superb. She had extensive knowledge of the ancient pueblo cultures in the Four Corners and especially about this specific site. Well worth two hours of your time to visit.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
62 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
“One of most dramatic landscapes in the southwest”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is moving toward National Monument status and with good reason, there are hundreds of significant archaeological sites throughout this area, most of which are unexcavated and cover a couple of thousand years of history. The rock spires that lend their name to this site are impressive and you'll spot them easily to the south of highway 160 if you're driving east from Durango. Check out the tour times before hand and plan to arrive a few minutes ahead. You can only tour the sites at the top with a guide who will lead your vehicle and others as a group to the top. There are two areas you'll visit here. One has a paved path that winds about early pit house sites and takes you by a restored large kiva. The second part of the tour takes you UP toward the dramatic rock spires and through ruins of pit houses, kivas, and a restored great house reflective of Chaco canyon culture 90 miles or so to the south. The view from here, as you climb an ascending causeway, is one of the most impressive you'll find anywhere else in the southwest. The guides are volunteers from a well informed and highly motivated group dedicated to the site. You'll find them helpful and very informative. There are significant astronomical alignments around this site that happen during the year and on cycles over courses of years. You can learn more about these and about when you might visit to see them for yourself. My own sense is that this site will become more significant and interesting as years go by since new discoveries and exploration is continuing. Well worth a visit, but do check their website to know the tour times, otherwise you'll be frustrated. And allow at least 2 1/2 hours for your visit.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Chimney Rock National Monument also viewed

 

Been to Chimney Rock National Monument? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Chimney Rock National Monument, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.