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Night Sky and Autumnal Equinox Sunrise programs at Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock’s last Night Sky Archaeostronomy Program of the season will be presented on Friday, Sept. 18.

Native American flute melodies and storytelling by Charles Martinez will open the program, and will be followed by a lecture on naked-eye astronomy of the Ancestral Puebloans.

After the lecture, participants will drive to the upper parking lot of the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area for approximately two hours of night-sky viewing. Telescopes will be available to assist with viewing.

The gate will open for the Night Sky Program at 5 p.m.; the opening program is scheduled from 6 to 7, with viewing from 7:30 to 9:30.

The upper parking area is paved and wheelchair accessible, with restroom facilities. Reservations are suggested, as space is limited: $10 for adults and $5 for children (11 years and younger.) Tickets are available by calling the cabin (9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily) at 883-5359. 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.

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 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 two- to three-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 to 6:05 a.m. Sunrise is at approximately 6:56. Tickets are $15, and reservations are required. Tickets are available by calling the cabin (9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily) at 883-5359.

Visit our Web site at www.chimneyrockco.org. The Night Sky Program and the Autumnal Equinox Sunrise Program are sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District.