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For months, the stonework of the kiva at Alcove House — formerly known as Ceremonial Cave — in Bandelier National Monument has become more and more unstable.
Recently that part of the alcove was fenced off as a temporary measure so visitors could go up the ladders and enjoy the rest of the alcove while staying clear of any rocks that might break off from the weakened kiva walls. Now arrangements are in progress for a major project to begin in June to remove unstable wall sections and stabilize the kiva’s structure.
The work will make it necessary for Alcove House to be closed to visitors from June 10-16, open from June 17-21, and then closed again June 22-Aug. 22. The trail past the base of the Alcove House trail will remain open throughout, except for occasional short periods when the moving of materials blocks the way.
“We truly regret having to close a site as popular as Alcove House, especially during the summer season. We know it is a favorite of many visitors,” said Park Superintendent Jason Lott. “It is not something the park would choose to do if there was an alternative. But there is real danger of a wall falling and injuring visitors. When the whole project is completed, Alcove House should be available to visitors for years to come, as well as being better preserved than before.”
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