Rocks that look like chimneys

  Dear HCN,

Couldn't help but notice the page 7 photo, "Power Site: Chimney Rock, New Mexico (Dale Schicketanz photo)," in the recent issue I received (HCN, 5/21/01). The Chimney Rock in the photo framed by those "National Scenic Powerlines," is six miles north of New Mexico in Colorado (on the Ute Mountain Reservation lands, along the southwest base of Mesa Verde, and just east of the junction of Highways 160 and 666).

Of course, this isn't the only Chimney Rock in Colorado. Another one, located 14 miles north of New Mexico, is the site of numerous ancestral pueblo archaeological sites, including a "Chaco Outlier" site. This Chimney Rock is located between Durango and Pagosa Springs. The Chimney Rock Archaeological Area of the San Juan National Forest (4,100 acres) is designated surrounding the spires at this location. I work there. A volunteer program runs interpretive tours of the archaeological sites from May to the end of September. The Web site is The "co" on the end of the address is vital, since Web sites for Chimney Rock, N.C., and Chimney Rock, Neb., are located out there on the Web as well. Seems those pioneers loved to name rocks after chimneys.

By the way, ever wonder how many Sycamore Canyons there are in Arizona or Cottonwood Canyons in Utah? Or Rio Puercos in New Mexico?

Tom Ferrell
Pagosa Springs, Colorado

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