Everyone enjoys stays in Zion National Park, including peregrine falcons! Climbing routes on cliffs used by nesting peregrine falcons in Zion National Park have temporarily closed as of March 1, 2022. The falcons are especially sensitive to being disturbed while they nest. If disturbed, a nesting pair may abandon their nest site and not nest again until the following year. The closure date is based on National Park Service (NPS) monitoring of peregrines’ arrival to nesting sites on cliffs in the park from 2001 to 2021.
Climbers should check Zion’s Seasonal Climbing Closures webpage for details, and portions of the following cliffs will be closed to protect the falcons starting on March 1:
The Great White Throne
Isaac (in Court of the Patriarchs)
Mountain of the Sun
North Twin Brother
The East Temple
The Streaked Wall
All other cliffs will remain open to climbing. Please download the 2022 Guide to Zion National Park’s Seasonal Raptor Closures to see maps of cliff-specific closure boundaries. Climbers are responsible for checking maps of closed areas. The National Park Service will update our Seasonal Climbing Closures webpage as areas reopen to climbers.
Park wildlife biologists and volunteers from the Zion Climbing Coalition will monitor the nesting activity of peregrine falcons throughout the 2022 breeding season. Closures cover broad areas at the start of the season to give raptors first choice in selecting suitable nest sites. We monitor these areas to locate nests and reopen cliffs that peregrine falcons do not select as nest sites. The date for cliffs reopening to climbers varies from year to year and typically ranges from late-spring to summer.
Zion National Park is home to many breeding peregrine falcons each spring and summer. These magnificent birds of prey were listed as an endangered species in 1970, under the Endangered Species Act. Their decline was primarily due to DDT; an insecticide which caused the birds to produce thin-shelled eggs that were easily broken, killing the developing embryo inside.
Thanks to the U.S. ban on DDT in 1972, as well as the success of captive breeding programs, peregrine populations have recovered across North America and the species was removed from the endangered species list in 1999. Zion National Park has been and will continue to be an important sanctuary for peregrines and many other wildlife species.