Superintendent Steve Riley announced today that the Gila Cliff Dwellings will be closed from June 3 through 7, 2013 for hazard rock removal from the cliff face directly above the dwellings.  Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument will offer twice-daily, ranger-guided tours of the TJ Site while the cliff dwellings are closed. The National Park Service apologizes for any inconvenience that this work may cause visitors who come specifically to visit the cliff dwellings, but the safety of our visitors and staff requires that this work be accomplished before summer rains begin later in July.

Throughout the closure of the cliff dwellings, area visitors will have the unique opportunity to explore the TJ Site, an unexcavated surface pueblo that is normally closed to the public.  Free tours of the TJ Site will be offered daily at 11 am and 2 pm from June 3 through 7, weather permitting.  Tours last approximately 1 ½ hours and are limited to 20 individuals. It is recommended that reservations be made in advance by calling the Gila Visitor Center, open from 8 am to 4:30 pm MDT daily, at (575) 536-9461.  10 spaces on each tour may be reserved in advance by calling the Gila Visitor Center at 575-536-9461.  Participants MUST be at the Gila Visitor Center by tour times.

Since there is not an established trail through the TJ Site, participants are required to stay with their guides.  To preserve the integrity of the site and allow future visitors the same opportunity to view this site in the same condition, participants on the hike may not pick up or disturb any artifacts or natural features.  Sturdy walking shoes and water are recommended.  Visitors should dress for the weather, as the TJ Site is on an open mesa top and may be very windy.

For further information, please contact the Gila Visitor Center at (575) 536-9461 or e-mail Chief of Interpretation Rodney Sauter at Rodney_Sauter@nps.gov.

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