Join us for the last Chimney Rock Night Sky Archaeoastronomy Program of the 2012 season on Friday, September 14th. This program includes a one-hour astronomy lecture at the cabin and provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the visible celestial objects. Following a lecture on the solar system and the universe, participants will drive to the upper parking lot of the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area for approximately 1.5 hours of night-sky viewing. Telescopes will be available to assist with viewing. The HWY 151 gate will open at 5:00pm; the opening program is scheduled from 6:00pm-7:00pm; with viewing from 7:30pm-9:00pm. Reservations are suggested as space is limited or tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Cabin prior to the program: $10 for adults and $5 for children 11 years and younger. Participants in the Night Sky Program are advised to come prepared with binoculars, water (which is also for sale at the cabin), flashlights, blankets and coats. Call (970) 883-5359 (9am-4:30pm daily) for reservations.
Sunday, September 23rd, is the first day of fall. Start the day at Chimney Rock’s Autunmal Equinox Sunrise Program. This is the day that the sun crosses the equator and spends an equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on earth. This 2 to 3 hour event begins at the Sun Tower (a place not visited on our regular tours) and concludes at the Stone Basin, providing two viewing locations. The gate will be open from 6:05 to 6:10 am. Sunrise is at approximately 6:56 am. Tickets are $15 and reservations are required.
Chimney Rock Archaeological Area will host the final Full Moon Program of the season on Saturday September 29th. The program includes hiking up to the Great House Pueblo just before sunset and then a presentation on the archaeoastronomy of the site will be given as the full moon rises over the San Juan Mountains. Live flute music by Native American Artist Charles Martinez will accompany the presentation. The gate along Highway 151 will be open from 4:45pm to 5:00pm and the program begins at 5:30pm. Tickets are $15.00 for this 2-hour program designed for folks 12 years and older. Reservations are required. In addition to the Full Moon Program, a guided tour of the Great Kiva Trail will be offered at 3:30pm for an additional $5.00. Persons attending the Full Moon Program should come prepared with a good working flashlight, warm clothing, and a blanket or ground cloth to sit on (no folding chairs please).
Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is an Ancestral Puebloan site located in the San Juan National Forest, 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs. Tours of the site are conducted daily. The site will close to the public on Sunday September 30th and will reopen on May 15th, 2013. All events are sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Assn., Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District. Visit our website at www.chimneyrockco.org