Pinnacles Bird Nesting Closures - July 2005

7/10/05: Bird nesting closures for 2005 have been lifted. All climbing areas have reopened. 17 prairie falcons and 3 peregrine falcons were fledged this year!

5/4/05: The nesting closures were modified to account for actual observed nesting.

1/14/05: The nesting closures for 2005 began.


The initially closed areas include the same areas as in past years, plus the Hand is newly closed.

Good maps of the closed areas are posted on the NPS web page.

Local copies of these maps are available here. For additional details on closed areas, please see the text descriptions further below.

The closures are usually in effect from mid-January until July or August, depending on exactly when the birds leave. 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. Usually in late April, some areas will be reopened if no nesting is observed.

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 2005

  1. Frog, Hand, Gargoyle
  2. Yaks (a.k.a. "Little Pinnacles")
  3. Balconies
  4. other West Side
  5. Juniper Canyon
  6. Scout Peak Area and High Peaks South
  7. High Peaks
In case you are wondering, the following areas are Open: