Chimney Rock National Monument

Pagosa Springs, Colorado While visiting our close friend who lives in Pagosa Springs, we took a day to visit Chimney Rock National Monument  located in the San Juan National Forest.  Visits and tours at the Monument are coordinated by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association for the National Forest Service.  Whether you choose to do a self-guided tour or one of the focused tours, you will schedule it through the CRIA.  We choose a self-guided tour and used their very convienent audio tour through a smartphone app.  Be sure to down load the app before your visit as cell reception at the Monument is spotty. Self-guided tours follow two separate trails accessing two key locations of the site.  The Mesa Village Trail is a paved half mile trail giving you a view of the Piedra River Valley and Peterson Ridge as well as passing excavated and restored Pithouse and the Great Kiva. The Great House Pueblo Trail travels almost a half mile along the exposed mesa ridge to the Great House Pueblo an

Bryce Canyon National Park

  We explored Bryce Canyon National Park from the Kodachrome Basin State Park , only a short drive away. In Bryce you can see The Grand Staircase completely.  It is the world’s most complete sequence of sedimentary rocks.  It spans over 525 million years of history.  From the bottom of the Staircase at the Grand Canyon, you can easily see the Chocolate and then the Vermilion Cliffs near Kanab.  Then come the White Cliffs, Gray Cliffs, and at the top, the Pink Cliffs of Bryce and the Paunsaugunt Plateau.  The landscape here is like no where else. While you could spend weeks exploring here, these photographs account for our single day visit. Not quite sunrise, but at Sunrise Point Navajo Trail from Sunset Point Thors Hammer Start of the Navajo Trail from Sunset Point Navajo Trail Two Bridges Western Bluebird Nesting Pair Queen Victoria Final climb up Queens Garden Trail Agua Canyon Raven Natural Bridge Life finds a way