Chimney Rock Night Sky: Our Solar System

Event date: 

Fri Sep 6, 2019 06:30 pm to 10:00 pm MDT

Location of event: 

Chimney Rock National Monument
3179 CO-151
81121 Chimney Rock , CO
United States
Colorado US

This program is timed for when the moon is present in the sky but not fully illuminated; we can enjoy the night sky unimpeded by artificial lighting or the brightness of a full moon, and see many of the brighter objects that are visible. It is especially enjoyable to view the partial moon through a telescope because features near the terminator (the boundary between the lit and unlit portions of the moon) stand out in particularly high contrast and are easy to discern.

The Hwy 151 Entry Gate will open an hour before sunset, for check-in and driving to the High Mesa parking lot, where volunteers await with telescopes. While we wait for our eyesight to adjust to the growing darkness, we’ll hear a short talk to prepare us for viewing the night sky. Topics may include how the ancient people who periodically inhabited the site lived, how they used the unique landscape of the Chimney Rock area to view the sky, what special astronomical events they might have seen, and what we will see in the evening’s viewing.

At the viewing area, each telescope will focus on a different feature, and the volunteers will change that focus periodically during the viewing time. Viewing is scheduled to continue until about one hour after maximum darkness. Guests may depart from the viewing area whenever they choose.

Remember that at this altitude the nights begin to cool rapidly after sunset, so an appropriate jacket or sweater will enable you to remain comfortable while you enjoy the majesty of the night sky at Chimney Rock.

This program is perfect for young families and those with limited mobility.

Visitors traveling with their own telescope are encouraged to bring it to the program and share it with others.

Guests must enter through the Hwy 151 entry gate during the check-in period stated below; the gate will be locked at the end of that time. In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, rain checks will be available. For details, please call the Visitor Cabin (970-883-5359) 9:00 – 4:00 Mountain Time.


Arrive for check-in 6:30pm-7:00pm.
Program begins at 7:15pm
$16.00/adult and $8.00/child (5-12)
Considered a non-refundable donation.
A booking fee applies to each ticket purchased online or through the call center.
Reservations strongly recommended. Limited space. Walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis.