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Glenn Reynolds/National Park Service

Rock-climbing routes temporarily closed in Arches due to raptors

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - Apr. 1, 2015 at 11:41 a.m.


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ARCHES NATIONAL PARK — With the return of spring, many Utahns are beginning to rock climb, but Arches National Park officials have announced the temporary closures of several climbing routes in the park to protect breeding habitats.

The craggy rock outcroppings in Arches National Park are a common habitat for birds of prey, according to the National Park Service website. Raptors, in particular, are sensitive to human disturbances so the closures were put in place to “protect sensitive wildlife species,” according to an Arches National Park news release.

“Even when climbers do not have direct contact with eggs, young or adults, behavior such as shouting and other noises are disturbing enough to cause a parent bird to abandon its nest,” the National Park Service website said. “Intentionally disturbing wildlife nesting, breeding and other activities is a violation of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations.”

Several popular climbing routes have been closed from March 1 to Aug. 31 — the period of the raptor’s breeding seasons, the news release said. Climbing routes on the rock feature known as the Penguin were added to the list of closures Thursday.

Here is a complete list of the current, temporary closures for rock climbing routes in Arches National Park:

  • The Pickle — near the Arches entrance. Closed: April 1-Aug. 31
  • The Three Penguins — near the Arches switchbacks. Closed: March 26-Aug. 15
  • Industrial Disease — near Devil’s Garden and the Devil Dog Spire. Closed: Dec. 1, 2014-Sept. 30, 2015
  • Harkened Castle route and entire Ham Rock — near Garden of Eden. Closed: March 15-Aug. 15
  • El Secondo and The Coup — near Highway 191. Closed: March 1-Aug. 31
  • Left Route, Crohn’s Odyssey, Project One and Project Two — near Highway 191 and Crohn’s Wall. Closed: March 1-Aug. 31
  • Klondike Bluff’s Crack — near Klondike Bluffs. March 1-Aug. 31
  • Route One and Route Two — near Klondike Bluffs and The Bouquet. Closed: March 1-Aug. 31
  • Cuddle Bunny Tower, False Start, North Marcher and Sand Hearse — near Klondike Bluffs and Marching Men. Closed: March 1- Aug. 31
  • Fun Ramp, The Hyena and the Trail of the Navajo — Highway 128 and Goose Island. Closed: March 1-Aug. 31
  • Pop Tarts — near Highway 128 and Milano Tower. Closed: March 1- Aug. 31
  • Escape Route — near Highway 128. Closed: March 1- Aug. 31
  • Entire Tonka Tower feature — near the Windows. Closed: March 15-Aug. 15

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