"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Chimney Rock and Pagosa Springs

Many people left the Creede Campground at the end of Labor Day weekend before us. After a week of off and on rain, we had a beautiful rainbow to bid us adieu.


Treasure Waterfall 15 miles east of Pagosa Springs was a nice uphill hike  with several switchbacks after we made our way over Wolf Creek Pass. Treasure Falls drops 105 feet before joining the San Juan River.

The name Treasure Falls came from Treasure Mountain, which as the legends goes, holds buried gold. In the late 1700s about 300 Frenchmen secretly entered the San Juan Mountains, which was Spanish turf.
They struck it rich near the mountain, but were faced with brutal winters, Indian attacks and disease. Only two Frenchmen returned east to tell the tale.

Wow! It's great staying in the National Forest campgrounds after Labor Day.
We were the only people in Ute Campground near Pagosa Springs. We thought it would be a good stop since it is near Chimney Rock Archeologic Site.

We had some amazing sunsets that looked like fire between the trees.

View from the road.....

Chimney Rock National Monument was designated as a national monument only 3 years
ago by President Obama. The tours were limited to 25 people per tour for 3 tours
each day. We had ten people on our tour. The docent, a retired biology professor from Texas, was very interesting and well spoken. The walk was pleasant with amazing views and the 2 hours passed  quickly. We met some interesting people on the tour and just had a good morning before
things warmed up.

Lunar Standstill  happens every 18.6 years and lasts 2 years as the moon pauses, rising at the same point on the horizon before beginning its move back toward the opposite end of the swing. The Chaco Indians built the Great House there because of the view of the moon rising between Chimney Rock and Companion Rock during the Standstill. The park service isn't sure how they are going to handle all of the people that will want to witness this event starting in 2021. They are considering a lottery.

Colorado has several hot springs throughout the state. Pagosa's main hot springs
has been privatized and very nice. There are several springs along the river and
in the nearby mountains that the public can access. Pagosa Springs is said to be the world's deepest geothermal hot springs.

Heading on the Vallecito Lake


  1. We've enjoyed Pagosa Springs several times in our travels (love soaking in the hot springs!), but didn't know about Chimney Rock. Looks very interesting—we'll make a point to go there next time we're in the area. But we won't wait until 2021. ;-)

  2. Replies
    1. Remember when moving into 2000 was hard to imagine. Time flies when you are having fun ... or in some cases as we get older.

    2. That is why we are doing what we want and not waiting for someday. Older is good too.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Have to put Chimney Rock on our list also :-)

  4. Wow, I completely forgot to mention the standstill. We really loved that area too. We wanted to get into some of the many NF campsites that were free, but there was so much rain when we were there, almost all the roads were very muddy and somewhat steep and we had a hard enough time just getting the truck up that we didn't want to even try it with the 5er.