We Must Respect Land Closures

Eagle nest in Boulder CanyonClosure Update – August 9, 2015

See below for the latest details and background on the closures.


  • Der Zerkle is closed April 1 through September 1 for bat roosting (full details here)
  • East face of The Hand, standard route on Finger Flatiron, and all of Shark’s Fin are closed April 1 through October 1 for bat roosting (full details here)
  • Boulder Falls, which includes access to the Plotinus Wall and the Wall of Winter Warmth, remains closed until flood damage is repaired.

All seasonal raptor closures in Boulder Canyon are now OVER

All seasonal raptor closures in Eldorado Canyon are now OVER

All seasonal raptor closures on City of Boulder OSMP lands are now OVER

All seasonal raptor closures in Rocky Mountain National Park are now OVER

Climbing areas on City of Boulder OSMP land that are closed seasonally February 1 until July 31 (full details here):

  • Lefthand Canyon Palisades, at the intersection of Lefthand Canyon Drive and Olde Stage Road (Buckingham Picnic area remains open)
  • Mount Sanitas Summit, south of the Mt. Sanitas East Ridge Trail, east of Mt. Sanitas Trail (both trails remain open)
  • Flagstaff Mountain, the north side of Flagstaff Mountain will be closed (the Boy Scout Trail will remain open)
  • Third Flatiron, including the Queen Anne’s Head, W.C Fields Pinnacle, 1911 Gully and the Ghetto, the East Bench & West Bench, the East & West Ironing Boards, The Fin, Green Thumb and Jaws
  • The Back Porch and The Box
  • Fern Canyon, north of the Fern Canyon Trail, including the Nebel Horn Ridge, East Ridge, the Goose and the Goose Eggs (the designated Fern Canyon hiking trail will remain open)
  • Shadow Canyon and the Matron (the Maiden will remain open and accessible from the east; Shadow Canyon Trail will remain open)
  • The entire Mickey Mouse wall, including South Tower, North Tower, Central Tower, Ship’s Prow, Wall of Shiva’s Dance, The Gargoyle, the East Face and Cryptic Crag

Climbing areas in Eldorado Canyon State Park that are closed seasonally February 1 until July 15 (full details here):

  • Millennium Crag
  • Rattlesnake Gulch Trail upper loop

Climbing areas in Clear Creek Canyon on Jefferson County land that are closed seasonally February 1 until July 31 (full details here):

  • Stumbling Block
  • Bumbling Stock
  • Skinny Legs/Blonde Formation

Climbing areas in Lumpy Ridge on National Park Service land that are closed seasonally February 1 until July 31 (full details here):

  • Twin Owls
  • Rock One
  • Batman Rock
  • Batman Pinnacle
  • Checkerboard Rock
  • Alligator Rock
  • Lightning Rock
  • Thunder Buttress
  • The Parish
  • Sundance Buttress
  • Sheep Rock


Each year from February 1 to July 31 some climbing crags are closed to protect nesting raptors. We will post the most current closure information for Eldorado Canyon, the Flatirons, and Boulder Canyon as it becomes available.

The closures help protect long-established raptor nesting territory, including vital alternate nest sites. Undisturbed access to multiple nest sites is important for birds of prey, especially early in the nesting season, to give them a chance to visit multiple nests during courtship and to select a site for the season, free of human influence.

“As part of a small team of volunteer climber-biologists, we install trail cameras on the cliffs before the nesting season and make observations to determine when and where the eagles choose to nest. Once nesting is confirmed by observations of incubation behavior and/or an egg, the USFS opens the other areas. Ongoing observations are used to keep track of the number of eagles fledged and sources of mortality. Once fledging is confirmed, the nest cliff is opened again to climbing. This is a collaborative effort built on trust and shared interest between the climbing community, biologists, and USFS, so please get the word out. (Knuckleheads who violate the closures to climb anyway, selfishly violate that trust, put the eagles at risk of nest failure, and face a hefty fine.)

Climbers played essential roles in the research and recovery of peregrine falcons and Sierra bighorn sheep, and brought the California condor back from the brink of extinction. It is our time to do our part again, and respect the closures when they are in effect, as golden eagles face an uncertain future because of threats from wind turbines, lead contamination, electrocutions, and habitat loss.”

Rob Roy Ramey II, Ph.D.

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