Apr 172012
 
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Fee-free National Park Week and Junior Ranger Day at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Picture yourself at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument for free!  During National Park Week, April 21-29, ALL 397 of your national parks offer free admission, all week long.  The staff at Gila Cliff Dwellings invites you to enjoy the 1-mile roundtrip trail to visit the over-700-year-old structures at Gila Cliff Dwellings.  In addition, Western National Parks Association will offer a 15 % discount on merchandise in the store at the Gila Visitor Center throughout the week.

Access to the Gila Cliff Dwellings:  Visitors may walk the self-guided trail to the cliff dwellings anytime from 9 am to 4 pm every day.  Volunteer Interpretive Park Rangers are on duty to help answer questions.  A guided tour is offered at 1 p.m. each day.  Tours start at the cliff dwellings, so be sure to leave enough time to hike up to them.  It takes about one-half hour to walk up to the cliff dwellings from the trailhead.

Visitors should carry water, dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking.  The ½-mile hiking trail to the cliff dwellings is steep and uneven in places and includes over 100 steps.  The trail is not wheelchair accessible.  Views of some of the cliff dwellings are possible after a 1/4-mile hike in the canyon bottom.  Since pets are not permitted on the trail, kennels are provided at the trailhead.  Pets are permitted on leash on the nearby trails in the Gila National Forest. 

Junior Ranger Day:  In recognition of National Junior Ranger Day on April 28, the first 35 junior rangers who complete the junior ranger booklet will receive a special patch in addition to their junior ranger badge and certificate.

For further information about Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, please contact the Gila Visitor Center at (575) 536-9461 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/gicl.

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