Each year, to protect breeding and nesting sites of raptors (also known as birds of prey), Rocky Mountain National Park officials initiate temporary closures in the park. Raptors that are protected include multiple species of hawks, owls, golden eagles, and peregrine falcons.
To ensure that these birds can nest undisturbed, specific areas within the park are closed temporarily to public use during their breeding and nesting season. These areas are monitored by park wildlife managers. Raptor closures begin on February 15 and continue through July 31, if appropriate. These closures may be extended longer or rescinded at an earlier date depending on nesting activity.
A closure is in place in the Loch Vale area which includes Cathedral Wall. The areas above the Loch Vale-Sky Pond Trail are closed to off trail travel.
In the Lumpy Ridge area closures include Checkerboard Rock, Lightning Rock, Batman Rock, Batman Pinnacle, Sundance, Thunder Buttress, The Parish, Bookmark Pinnacle, The Left Book, Bookmark, Twin Owls, Rock One and the Needle. These closures include the named formations. Closures include all climbing routes, outcroppings, cliffs, faces, ascent and descent routes and climber access trails to the named rock formations. Check the park’s website at https://www.nps.gov/romo/raptor-closures.htm for all details on specific raptor closure areas, including maps.
The National Park Service is committed to preserving birds of prey. If nest sites are located or territorial behaviors such as aggressive divebombing/vocalizing or birds fleeing nest sites due to human disturbance are observed, please report the general location to ROMO_Information@nps.gov.
The same cliffs that are critical for raptors also appeal to climbers. The cooperation of climbing organizations and individuals continues to be essential to the successful nesting of raptors in the park.
For further information on Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.
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