Chimney Rock Archaeological Area

Archaeological Site in Pagosa Springs

Designated an Archaeological Area and National Historic Site in 1970, these 4000 acres within the San Juan National Forest hold remains of 100 permanent structures at the base of two large red-rock buttes. Like the architects of the elaborate structures in Chaco Canyon – with which this community was connected – the people of the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area were dedicated astronomers and this was a place of spiritual significance.

Today the rock monuments remain, though the thriving religious and commercial center has been reduced to sketches in stone. The largest pair of buildings, the Great Kiva and Great House, are impressive examples of Chacoan architecture.