Climbing routes that are located along cliffs that are used by nesting peregrine falcons within Zion National Park will be closed beginning March 1, 2020. Climbing closures occur each year to help prevent the sensitivity to disturbance that can occur during the nesting season of the peregrine falcon. Generally, if a nesting area is disturbed, the nesting pair may abandon their nesting site and not nest until the following year. This year’s closure dates are based on analysis from data regarding the falcon’s arrival time for nesting within the canyon cliffs collected from 2001-2019.
The following climbing locations will be closed as of March 1, 2020:
- Angels Lading
- Cable Mountain
- The Great White Throne (beyond single and double-pitched climbs)
- Isaac (located within Court of the Patriarchs)
- The Sentinel
- Mountain of the Sun
- North Twin Brother
- Tunnel Wall
- The East Temple
- Mount Spry
- The Streaked Wall
- Mount Kinesava and
- The Middle Fork of Taylor Creek
All other cliffs will remain open to climbing.
During the 2020 breeding season, park wildlife biologists will monitor the nesting activity of the falcons. Cliffs that have been closed but are not being used for nesting this year will be reopened once all nesting locations are determined. This typically happens by late April or early May.
Cliffs that are closed and being monitored during the nesting season will continue to be monitored until the new falcon chicks fledge, which usually occurs in late July, and will then be reopened for climbing.
After the peregrine falcon was placed on the endangered species list in 1970, Zion National Park has become home for a large concentration of breeding falcons each spring and summer. After years of being on the endangered species list, the falcons were delisted in 1999. Zion National Park continues to be an important sanctuary for the falcons as well all other types of wildlife species.
Climbers are responsible for checking the status of closed areas when planning their visit to Zion National Park. Information can be found at the Visitor Center within the park.