News Release

Southeast Arizona National Parks Modify Operations to Implement Local Health Guidance

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Date: May 19, 2020
Contact: Matthew Cahill, 520-824-3560

Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Bowie National Historic Site, and Coronado National Memorial following guidance from the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will begin to increase recreational access and services on May 23, 2020. The NPS is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

As of Saturday, May 23, 2020Chiricahua National Monument will temporarily provide vehicle access to the scenic drive through the Memorial Day Weekend. Very limited services outside those that support visitor or resource protection will be available. The gate on the scenic drive will close at 8pm on Monday 5/25/2020 to allow for the completion of a federal highways paving project currently underway.

At Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Bowie National Historic Site, and Coronado National Memorial, the following services and operations will be available as part of a phased reopening of visitor facilities in accordance with public health guidance.

  • Limited restroom facilities will be available at all three Southeast Arizona Group Park Sites.
  • Visitor Information including maps, trial guides, and safety information will be available outside our visitor centers.
  • Trails and landscapes at all three sites will remain open to the public except for the cave trail at Coronado National Memorial
  • Picnic areas at all sites will be available.
The following services will remain suspended at all three sites in order to comply with the current Governors Order
  • Visitor centers will remain closed
  • Restrooms will be limited to a number that can be cleaned to meet the existing public health standard.
  • No guided activities or group events will be available at this time.
Our operational approach continues to be centered on examining each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public areas and work spaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.   

For additional details about Southeast Arizona Group park operations, visit,, and Updates about NPS operations will be posted on

The health and safety of those who visit and work in national parks continues to be paramount, which is why we ask visitors to be our partners in adopting social distancing practices. The CDC has offered guidance to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases while enjoying the outdoors.  

Southeast Arizona National Park Sites are remote, cell communication is mostly unavailable, and rescue can often be hours away. Heat, physical condition, skill level, and rapidly changing weather can all lead to deadly hazards for unprepared visitors. Please bring plenty of water, wear sun protective clothing, hats, and sunscreen. Start outdoor activities early and know your limits.

We urge visitors to park only in designated areas, pack out everything you bring into a park, plan a visit at times other than busiest of the day, maintain social distance from other visitors, and if you encounter a crowded trail-head or overlook, seek another location to recreate.   

We are also encouraging visitors to find their virtual park! Explore national parks from the comfort of anywhere in the world through online galleries of photos, videos, webcams, podcasts, and sound recordings.

The NPS encourages people who choose to visit Southeast Arizona Park Sites during this pandemic to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.  

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations.

Last updated: May 19, 2020

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