Beginning Wednesday, March 1st, 2017, certain climbing routes will experience closures for a short period. These closures are in an effort to protect the breeding and nesting areas of the beautiful Peregrine Falcon.
The Peregrine Falcon is a magnificent bird that the Zion area is lucky to have. Unfortunately, the Peregrine Falcon has been considered an endangered species. By closing the climbing routes, which may house their nesting and breeding sites, Zion National Park is ensuring that the Peregrine Falcon will no longer be endangered.
The following areas will be closed, beginning March 1st, 2017, to climbers during the breeding and nesting season.
Any climbing route not included on this list will remain open during this time. Any further closures will be announced, but are not likely to occur.
Park officials and other experts have chosen these areas for closure based on a large amount of data obtained from 2001-2016. It is believed that these areas are the ones most likely to be used for the breeding and nesting of the peregrines.
Once the nesting season is over, any routes that do not have peregrine activity will be reopened to the public. This means that some routes may be reopened much earlier than others. So, if there is a certain route you would like to climb, make sure to check the updated list of closures or contact the park. Current information concludes that uninhabited areas will likely reopen around late April or early May. Any areas that are being nested by the falcons will reopen once the chicks have developed. This is expected to happen sometime in late July.
While these closures may be inconvenient to some climbers, it is important to remember wild animals are losing their natural habitats very rapidly. Buildings, roads, and pipelines, though great for human advancement, are reducing the areas where animals can live. It is the duty of those who love the outdoors to protect the wildlife.
It is important to check the closures of climbing routes before you begin your adventure. If you would like to obtain current closure information, visit the Zion National Park website.