A number of climbing routes were closed down on March 1st to help minimize any disruption during the Peregrine Falcon nesting period in Zion National Park. Routes and cliffs closed are areas that are often used by the falcons each year as they return to Zion National Park. Falcon’s are particularly sensitive during their nesting season. If their nesting area is disturbed it is not uncommon for the pair of falcons to abandon their nest and not nest again until the following year.
The closure date this year was based off of data collected from 2001-2018 in regards to the falcon’s arrival time to the park’s cliffs for nesting.
The following climbing routes have been closed:
- Angels Landing
- Cable Mountain
- The Great White Throne (beyond single and double-pitched climbs)
- The Sentinel
- Isaac (in the Court of the Patriarchs)
- Mountain of the Sun
- North Twin Brother
- Tunnel Wall
- The East Temple
- Mount Spry
- The Streaked Wall
- Mount Kinesava
- Middle Fork of Taylor Creek
All other climbing routes and cliffs will remain open to climbers.
During this year’s nesting activity, Park Wildlife Biologists will be monitoring the Peregrine Falcon’s. Any Cliffs that have been closed and are found to not be in use as a nesting site will be reopened when the new nesting locations have been identified, generally towards the end of April.
Cliffs that are being used as nesting sites this year will be monitored until the new chicks fledge, which generally happens in late July. Once the chicks fledge, the routes will be reopened to climbing.
Every year, Zion National Park becomes home to a high number of breeding Peregrine Falcons. After the falcons were placed on the endangered species list in 1970, Zion has become a sanctuary for the falcons as well as other wildlife that can be found in the canyon.
To stay up to date on climbing cliff closures check the national park website frequently. Updates will be made as cliffs are reopened.