Pinnacles Bird Nesting Closures

6/30/01: All climbing areas have reopened from nesting closures. 24 prairie falcon chicks and one golden eagle chick were fledged this year! Nesting closures for 2002 will start on 1/18/02. Thanks to Erika Williams of the NPS for providing this information.

4/20/01: Many climbing areas reopened from nesting closures:

Thanks to Robert Behrens for providing this list, from the bulletin board at the trailhead, and also checked against the updated NPS web page.

1/22/2001: The NPS web page now includes a full list of closed areas, with maps: Spring 2001 bird nesting closures

The closures are usually in effect from mid-January until July or August, depending on exactly when the birds leave. For 1999, they started the same as the 1998 and 1997 closures. During the closure season, check the bulletin board at the Bear Gulch and West Side trailheads for updates, as sometimes areas are closed or opened during this period.

The closures are technically voluntary, but are normally followed by everyone. They apply not only to climbing, but to off-trail hiking in these areas. If rangers observe people in these areas, they will be asked to leave, and if they do not comply, they will be cited for failing to obey a ranger. If birds were present, there would be an additional citation for disturbing wildlife. Climbers have always been very cooperative, so there have been no citations to my knowledge.

The main result of the closures has been that climbers have used the October-December (and sometimes days in January) season to climb at the High Peaks, Balconies, Yaks Wall, and other normally closed areas.

Nesting Closures in 1999

If you'd like to see what was closed a few years ago, the list below was shown on the maps at the Bear Gulch trailhead, from January to June 1999. Most of the closures are the same in 1999 and 2001, but there are some differences (such as Resurrection Wall), so please consult the NPS web page for current closures.

However, some of the areas below were reopened, on or before 4/29/99. The reopened areas included Long's Folly, North and South Fingers, and Condor Crags. See the list given by Amy Fesnock (Pinnacles Wildlife Biologist).

  1. Gargoyle
  2. Yaks
  3. Balconies
  4. Scout Peak Area and High Peaks South
  5. High Peaks
In case you are wondering, the following areas were Open in 1999: