Located 50 miles southeast of Durango at the edge of the San Juan National Forest, Chimney Rock National Monument is a fantastic destination for travelers seeking natural history and culture. The national monument spans 4,726 acres and preserves 200 Ancestral Puebloan homes.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the lived history of the Southwest, learning about the Indigenous populations that inhabited the area about 1,000 years ago.
The Chimney Rock itself is 315 feet tall from the base, and the top of the monument offers a stunning view of both Colorado and New Mexico, and it can be accessed through a gentle 0.5-mile hike.
In the afternoon, visitors may venture out on a self-guided hiking tour that features the Great Kiva and a reconstructed pit house. This tour is only available when Volunteer Monitors are on site, so call ahead to check for openings ahead of your visit.
There are ten guided tours for visitors to choose from when they visit Chimney Rock National Monument. Visitors can satisfy their passion for history, geology, astronomy, and everything in between on these carefully planned tours.
There are picnic tables with a scenic view of the monument just outside the Visitor Center Cabin, which also has snacks, water, bug repellent, and sunscreen for sale. There is also an artifact display and a selection of books, gifts, and souvenirs nearby for visitors to discover while they savor their lunch.
Fall is the perfect season to visit the monument.
The sun is much stronger at higher altitudes, so apply and reapply sunscreen liberally every two hours.
Bring plenty of water and food with you.
Take advantage of Chimney Rock National Monument’s one-of-a-kind Archaeoastronomy programs.
Visit early or late in the summer to avoid possible monsoons.
Stop by Hermosa Cafe in Durango to pick up snacks and coffee for your trip.
The main guided tour will take you down the Kiva Trail and Pueblo Trail. This 0.3-mile loop is paved and ADA-accessible.
Be respectful of Indigenous landmarks.
Dogs must be leashed or otherwise physically restrained. Do not leave pets unattended.
Follow Leave No Trace (LNT) principles.
Protect fragile environments and stay on marked trails.
Do not engage with or feed the wildlife.