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Areas of Rocky Mountain National Park close to protect raptors

Seasonal raptor closures protect some of the highest-quality cliff-nesting habitats in the western U.S.

ESTES PARK, Colo. — Parts of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) are being temporarily closed to protect raptor nesting sites.

Park officials said the closures help ensure that birds of prey can nest undisturbed. Raptors that are protected include multiple species of hawks, owls, golden eagles, and peregrine falcons.

The closures begin Monday, Feb. 15.

RMNP said, if appropriate, the closures will continue through July 31.

RMNP officials said a closure is in place in the Loch Vale area which includes Cathedral Wall and 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
  • Needle

Closures include all climbing routes, outcroppings, cliffs, faces, ascent and descent routes and climber access trails to the named rock formations. The park’s website at nps.gov/romo/raptor-closures has maps and updated information on raptor closures.

If nest sites are located or territorial behaviors such as aggressive divebombing/vocalizing or birds fleeing nest sites due to human disturbance are observed, RMNP asks visitors report the location to ROMO_Information@nps.gov.

The same cliffs that are critical for raptors also appeal to climbers. RMNP officials said the cooperation of climbing organizations and individuals continues to be essential to the successful nesting of raptors in the park.

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