The climbing closures were put into effect last month to protect habitat of nesting raptors and desert bighorn sheep during lambing season, Mark Miller, chief of resource stewardship and science for the NPS’ Southeast Utah Group, said in an interview last month. Miller said the climbing closures will become an annual event, although the list of routes to be closed probably will change each year as park officials learn more about nesting and lambing habits.
Other climbing routes in Arches will temporarily remain closed to rock climbing to protect sensitive wildlife species, park officials said in a news release this week. Those routes include The Pickle, Ham Rock, El Second, Canyonlands by Night, The Coup, several routes at Cohn’s Wall and Klondike Bluffs, the Pop Tarts route on state Route 128 and several routes at Goose Island on SR 128. Except for the Ham Rock route, which is scheduled to reopen Aug. 15, the remaining climbing routes will be closed through Aug. 31.
Officials said the temporary bans could be lifted earlier or later depending on the results of area wildlife surveys. Changes in the re-opening dates will be posted on the NPS website at www.nps.gov/arch and announced through the local news media.