By Mary Alice Murphy
The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument north of Silver City, New Mexico, is open daily for visitors. Self-guided tours are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. MDT daily, with everyone required to be off the trail by 5 p.m..
The Gila Cliff Dwellings, Gila Visitor Center and Gila Cliff Dwelling Trailhead contact station are open every day of the year, except for Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Visitor Center hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
At present there are no forest fires on the Gila National Forest, trails around the cliff dwellings are open for hiking, campgrounds near the cliff dwellings are also open for camping.
However, be aware, that because of dry conditions, campfires are allowed only in specified fire rings. For more information on the Stage 1 fire restrictions, read http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3801166.pdf
Other alerts warn visitors of the possibility of closure of the trail to the cliff dwellings when lightning is in proximity. This is for the safety of visitors and staff.
No guided tours will be offered July 4-6, although the trail to the cliff dwellings will be open for visitors.
For more information on the national monument, visit http://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm