Heavy runoff in the Gila River forced the closure of New Mexico Highway 15 between the Gila Visitor Center and the trailhead for the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument on the morning of January 22nd – the third time this has happened in the past two years. The temporary north approach to the West Fork Bridge washed away, forcing closures of Lower Scorpion Campground, Upper Scorpion Campground, TJ Corral, Woody’s Corral and the trailhead to the Cliff Dwellings until further notice. Due to current and expected high water levels, crossing the West Fork of the Gila River by foot to access the cliff dwellings is unsafe and the trail to the dwellings will remain closed until the bridge can be reopened. All trails in the area are snowpacked and icy. Gila Visitor Center remains open, but anyone considering visiting the area should use extreme caution as all highways in the area are snowpacked and icy. Continued rain and snow have caused numerous mud and rock slides along Highway 15 and many road dips are running with water which is freezing to black ice at night. Travel at present is not advised and no estimated date for reopening the bridge by New Mexico Department of Transportation crews will be available until crews can visit the site on Tuesday, January 26th.