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For Immediate Release
Fee-free National Park Week and Junior Ranger Day at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced free admission to all National Park Service (NPS) sites, including Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument (NM), from April 16 through April 24 to help celebrate National Park Week. This year's theme is "Healthy Parks, Healthy People." "Parks are a great untapped resource in fostering health and wellness across the U.S.," said NPS Director Jon Jarvis. "Our national parks have always been loved for their symbolism and scenery, but we aim to increase the awareness of all parks as places for exercise and healthy living."
Throughout National Park Week, all are invited to enjoy free admission to the 1-mile roundtrip trail to visit the over-700-year-old structures at Gila Cliff Dwellings NM. In addition, Western National Parks Association will offer a 15 % discount on merchandise in the bookshop at the Gila Visitor Center throughout the week.
Access to the Cliff Dwellings: The Cliff Dwellings will be staffed daily from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and while the gate to the Cliff Dwellings closes at 4:00 p.m., visitors have another hour in which to complete their visit. A guided tour is offered at 1 p.m. each day. The trail is not wheelchair accessible.
Junior Ranger Day: Families are invited to participate in Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On this special day, Gila Cliff Dwellings NM will offer the Junior Ranger Program to visitors all of ages. Junior Ranger books will be available free of charge at the Gila Visitor Center. Drop by between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the Gila Cliff Dwellings trailhead to touch real animal skulls and learn about the wildlife of the Gila Wilderness and practice re‐creating pottery with sherds, drawings, and clay to examine natural materials and activities of the ancient Mimbres culture. The activities at the trailhead will be made possible though the Gila Conservation Education Center's Educational Trunk loan program. Participants who successfully complete the required activities will earn a Junior Ranger badge, certificate, and a special patch (while supplies last).
For further information, please contact the Gila Visitor Center at (575) 536-9461 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/gicl.