Starting March 1st, climbing routes in Zion National Park will begin to close to accommodate the nesting and breeding season for peregrine falcons. The specific closure dates and areas are determined by data that has been collected from the past 17 years of nesting and breeding patterns.
Zion National Park has become home to many peregrine falcons during the early spring and summer after being placed on the endangered species list back in 1970. Peregrine Falcons are particularly sensitive to disturbances during their nesting periods. If they encounter a disturbance, the nesting pair of falcons may abandon their nest and nesting site and not return to nest again until the following year.
This year’s closures will include the following routes:
- Angels Landing
- Cable Mountain
- Isaac (located in the Court of the Patriarchs)
- Middle Fork of Taylor Creek
- Mount Kinesava
- The Sentinel
- Tunnel Wall
- The North Twin Brother
- Mountain of the Sun
- The Streaked Wall
- The East Temple
- The Great White Throne (located beyond the single and double-pitched climbs)
All other climbing cliffs will remain open to climbers during the nesting season.
Park Wildlife Biologists will be monitoring the nesting areas and activity of the falcons. Once biologists determine where the nesting sites are located this year, any cliffs that may have been closed, that no longer have need to be closed, will be reopened by late April or early May. Wildlife Biologists will continue to monitor the nesting activity until the falcon chicks fledge, which generally occurs during late July, at which time the remaining closures will be reopened to the public.
During the nesting season, climbers should, and are primarily responsible for checking the maps of closed climbing cliffs, and should check for updates frequently as sites begin to open up. A list of maps for climbing closures can be found here.