Roosevelt, AZ – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Tonto National Monument is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide 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.
On June 5-8 and June 12-15, Tonto National Monument will reopen access along the entrance road and provide viewing areas from the Visitor Center parking lot.
During this phased reopening, entry fees are waived. Hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors can view the Lower Cliff Dwelling, Roosevelt Lake, and learn about the Monument from numerous waysides from the parking area. The Upper Cliff Dwelling Scenic Overlook off Highway 188 remains open to the public. Park staff will be available to answer questions outside of the Visitor Center and to provide park brochures, junior ranger books, and other area information upon request.
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:
- Visitor Center, including restrooms
- Lower Cliff Dwelling and Lower Cliff Dwelling Trail
- Picnic Area, including restrooms
In addition to COVID-19 concerns that prompted the closure of the Monument on March 20, wildland fire conditions coupled with staffing challenges caused by the pandemic have delayed normal fire preparedness projects. Above normal winter and spring precipitation resulted in significant vegetation growth compared to 2019, creating extensive work needed on fuel breaks, trails, roadways, near cliff dwellings, and around infrastructure. As the fire danger decreases and potential wildfire evacuation scenarios become more favorable, further access into the Monument will be allowed.
While some areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
For more information contact:
(928)467-2241 and firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: