Navajo Nation keeping parks, recreation areas closed to new year
Noel Lyn Smith, Farmington Daily Times Published 1:28 p.m. MT Oct. 5, 2020 CLOSE List
List of sites includes Four Corners Monument, Antelope Canyon
Barricades sit in the parking lot at the Veterans Memorial Park on March 29, 2020 in Window Rock, Arizona. The Navajo Parks and Recreation Department is keeping the park and other locations closed until 2021. (Photo: Daily Times file photo)
GALLUP — The Navajo Parks and Recreation Department is keeping the locations and sites it manages on the Navajo Nation closed until the new year.
In an Oct. 2 press release, the department explained the decision to maintain the closures until Jan. 1 was due to the most recent public health emergency order by the Navajo Department of Health and the recent increase in new COVID-19 cases on the reservation.
The locations staying closed are the Four Corners Monument, Bowl Canyon and Camp Assayi, Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, Marble Canyon, Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, Little Colorado River Gorge, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and Welcome Center, Window Rock Veterans Memorial Park and Tseyi Diné Heritage Area, also known as Cottonwood Campground at Canyon de Chelly National Monument.
Also closed are rivers, trails, canyons, historic sites and scenic roads that connect to park areas, according to the release.
“We ask that everyone stay home, stay safe, continue to social distance and wash your hands. Your safety is our main concern,” the release states.
For more information, contact the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department at 928-871-6647 or by email at [email protected] or visit the department’s website, navajonationparks.org.
The department operates parks, recreation sites and points of interest throughout the Navajo Nation, which were first ordered closed in March by the tribe’s Division of Natural Resources, and subsequent public health emergency orders have prohibited travel by tourists.
A notice pictured on June 26, 2020 warns visitors that Bowl Canyon and Camp Assayi near Crystal are closed. The Navajo Parks and Recreation Department recently announced that the area will remain closed to 2021. (Photo: Daily Times file photo)
Lyn Carranza, superintendent for the Southern Four Corners Group, said on Oct. 5 that Canyon de Chelly National Monument, the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site and the Navajo National Monument remain closed to visitors, as well.
The group manages the three locations under the National Park Service and has
been keeping the areas closed to comply with the public health emergency order.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at [email protected]
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