OUTDOORS & RECREATION

Zion National Park closes portions of climbing routes for bird nesting season

Mar 1, 2023, 5:25 PM | Updated: 5:27 pm

PAGE, AZ - MARCH 21:  Rare and endangered California condors roost on a ledge in Marble Gorge, east...

PAGE, AZ - MARCH 21: Rare and endangered California condors roost on a ledge in Marble Gorge, east of Grand Canyon National Park March 21, 2007 west of Page, Arizona. Condor managers taking blood samples from the 57 wild condors in Arizona both before and after hunting season find that all 57 condors test positive for contamination by lead matching the isotropic fingerprint of the lead commonly used in ammunition, and that those levels rise significantly by the end of the season. Many of the condors become so sick that biologists must re-capture them for lead-poisoning treatments. Several condors die each year. Experts believe the condors are ingesting the lead as they scavenge gut piles left behind hunters because lead bullets shatter and fragment inside the kill. Officials in Arizona are encouraging hunters to use copper bullets instead of lead-based ammunition and in California a coalition of conservation groups have sued the California Fish and Game Commission in an effort to force a ban on lead ammunition in Condor ranges. The condors in the Marble Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs area easily fly as far west as Lake Mead, by way of the Grand Canyon, and to Zion National Park and far into Utah. With a wingspan up to nine and a half feet, condors are the largest flying birds in North America. In 1982, when the world population of California condors dropped to only 22 and extinction was believed eminent, biologist captured them and began a captive breeding and release program which has increased the total population to 278, of which 132 now live in the wild in Arizona, California, and Baja California, Mexico. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

SPRINGDALE, Utah — Some climbing routes in Zion National Park will close to let birds nest without being disturbed.

Starting Wednesday, 12 areas in the park are off-limits to rock climbers to let the nesting peregrine falcons and California condors breed without human contact, according to the Zion National Park website.

“The falcons are especially sensitive to being disturbed while they nest. If disturbed, the nesting pair may abandon their nest site and not nest again until the following year,” state the park.

Here is a list of the closed areas:

  • Angels Landing Climbing Routes – Peregrine Falcon and Condor Closure – Hiking remains open.
  • Cable Mountain
  • The Great White Throne
  • Isaac (in 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

The park did not say when the climbing areas will reopen but estimated the birds usually leave their nests by July or August.

You can visit Zion National Park’s website and their in-depth guide for the full details of the closures and what areas are off-limits.

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Zion National Park closes portions of climbing routes for bird nesting season