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Salmon Ruins prepares to welcome visitors on Aug. 31 following coronavirus closure

Governors' new public health orders allows complex to reopen

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Another Farmington-area attraction that has been closed for several months because of the COVID-19 pandemic will reopen this week.

Salmon Ruins, located at 6131 U.S. Highway 64 west of Bloomfield, will greet visitors again beginning at 8 a.m. Aug. 31. The complex has been closed since March when the governor's public health orders led to the shutdown of most entertainment and cultural entities.

"I am absolutely delighted," Salmon Ruins executive director Larry L. Baker said Aug. 28 as his facility prepared to reopen.

Baker said all of the complex's attractions — a museum, a gift shop, a heritage park and archaeological sites — will be open after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham relaxed her public health orders earlier in the day. Baker said the museum was well prepared for that development.

"We've been working toward that so we were not behind the eight ball when the governor indicated we could open," he said, explaining that face shields have been installed at the counters in the museum and gift shop, and steps have been taken to ensure that all staff members and visitors comply with social distancing requirements.

The inside of the Tower Kiva at the Salmon Ruins in Bloomfield is seen in this 2017 photo.

Baker said the period from spring break to the middle of October is usually the busiest time of year at the complex, and he is pleased that Salmon Ruins will have a chance to capture a good amount of that seasonal visitation before the weather cools.

He noted that several people have called the museum lately to inquire about when the complex might reopen.

"That's been growing this month and before," he said. "We have people call every week."

Larry Baker talks about a root cellar in the Homestead complex at Salmon Ruins Museum. The root cellar was used by white settlers to store fruit and vegetables.

The Ancestral Puebloans site dates to the late 1000s, and its ruins were excavated in the 1970s. Salmon Ruins opened to the public in 1973 and is named for the family that preserved and protected it.

Baker said Salmon Ruins will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $1 for ages 6 to 16 and free for children 5 and younger. Call 505-632-2013 or visit salmonruins.com for more information.

"We're hoping people will remember us and come," Baker said.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.