There are dozens of places named Chimney Rock – a National Historic Site along the Oregon Trail in Scottsbluff Nebraska, a state park in North Carolina, a BLM area in Oregon, a winery in Napa California, and a National Monument outside Durango Colorado.
We’ve seen the one in Scottsbluff, been to the state park in North Carolina, now we’ve seen the National Monument in Colorado.
Formerly known as the Chimney Rock Archaeological Site, it became a National Monument in 2012 to further protect the archeological digs within its boundaries.
The Ancestral Puebloans inhabited the site about 1,000 years ago, building 200 rooms and several round ceremonial rooms.
As with many other Indian cultures, the inhabitants moved along for reasons that modern archeologists don’t understand.
The Forest Service has built several interpretive trails, and runs a shuttle service from the base up to the top of the ridge if you have an oversize vehicle or don’t wish to drive.
Situated halfway between Durango and Pagosa Springs, it’s out of the way unless you’re driving through. If you are driving through then we highly suggest making a stop to check it out, as seeing all of the highlights takes only a few hours.

So Tall

So Tall
The monsoon rains have made these Alpine Sunflowers skyrocket over 6 feet tall.


Do Not Go Beyond This Point

Do Not Go Beyond This Point - Chimney Rock
As always, I suggest that we remove the warning signs and let the problems sort themselves out…


Chimney Rock and Companion Rock

Chimney Rock and Companion Rock
Viewing the rocks from a respectful distance.


Stonemasons

Stonemasons at Chimney Rock
The Ancient Puebloans did some pretty amazing stonework considering the technology and tools they had to work with.


The Ancestral Puebloans

The Ancestral Puebloans
Very cool artwork at the interpretive display at Chimney Rock National Monument.


Weather

Weather approaching Chimney Rock
It’s Colorado monsoon season, and the weather is moving in fast today.


Chimney Rock National Monument

Chimney Rock National Monument
The obligatory sign photo!