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The National Park Service cordially invites everyone to be our guest at Colorado National Monument on the first day of summer, Tuesday, June 21. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar directed the National Park Service to waive entrance fees on several days during 2011 as part of an initiative to encourage people to visit, explore and enjoy America’s national park areas.
"The longest day of the year is the perfect time to take a short trip. Celebrate an extended Father’s Day with dad, the start of summer break with the kids, or a job well done with your favorite graduate," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "With 394 national parks across the country, you could opt to visit an old favorite or explore a new place. Find a reason to get outside and enjoy the extra sunshine at a national park near you."
During the fee-free day, Colorado National Monument will offer special ranger-led programs throughout the day:
• 8:30 a.m. Guided Walk, "Desert Plants - the Will to Survive." Walk the Alcove trail and discover the rich diversity of plants and how they survive in this challenging environment. Distance 1 mile round trip. 1 hour.
• 3:00 p.m. Porch Talk, "Living on the Edge – Desert Bighorn Sheep." Once on the brink of extinction, today the desert bighorn sheep population is thriving in and around Colorado National Monument. Learn what it takes to survive in this vertical environment and discover a few of their unique adaptations. Meet at the Visitor Center. 20 minutes.
• 6:00 p.m. Guided Hike, "Looking for Amphibians." Join ranger Briana Board for a fun family hike into No Thoroughfare Canyon. Activities will include a guided hike and an investigation into the amazing world of lizards. Meet at the Devil’s Kitchen Picnic Area and be prepared for the 2.4 mile hike with plenty of water and sturdy walking shoes. 2 hours.
During the fee-free day, visitors can also take advantage of a 10% discount on all items in the Colorado National Monument Association bookstore located at the Visitor Center.
In addition to the June date, entrance fees will be waived for National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 24, and Veterans Day Weekend November 11-13, 2011. To learn more about fee-free days in national parks around the country, go to http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.