After a successful nesting season, most climbing routes that have been closed since March 1, 2018 for the Peregrine Falcons which call Zion National Park home, have now re-opened. The list of open climbing cliffs include:
- East Temple
- Mount Isaac located in the Court of the Patriarchs
- Tunnel Wall
- Mount Kinesava
- Mount Spry
- The Streaked Wall
- Middle Fork of Taylor Creek
Not included in the openings is the Angels Landing climbing route. This route will remain closed until damage that was sustained during heavy rainfall to the Refrigerator Canyon trail have been fixed.
The closures to climbing routes was initially put into place to help protect the nesting areas of the Peregrine Falcons. Since the closures in March, wildlife biologists have been able to monitor nesting activities in five territories which were occupied by pairs of adult falcons. Four juvenile falcons were able to successfully fledge, including two falcons on the Tunnel Wall and two on Angels Landing. While park biologists detected a nest on Mount Isaac, they did not detect any fledged chicks.
Breeding Peregrine Falcons have made the cliffs of Zion their home each spring and summer, resulting in a high concentration of falcons returning each year nesting on high cliff faces. The falcons were placed on the endangered species list in 1970 but after the US banned DDT and captive breeding, their numbers rebounded leading them to be removed from the list in 1999. Zion National Park continues to be an important sanctuary for the falcons, as well as other wildlife species.
Park officials would like to thank the climbing community for their cooperation with closures during this 2018 breeding season, as well as their help in protecting the wildlife resources found within the park.
For those ready for a climb, please be advised that with the closures of the West Rim Trail, the Upper Emerald Pools Trail and the Kayenta Trail, these trails will not be available as exit routes.