Routes that have been reopened for climbing are The Pickle, which is located near the Arches main entrance road, Crohn’s Odyssey, Left Route, Project One, Project Two, which is located on Crohn’s Wall near U.S. 191, Cuddlebunny Tower, False Start, North Marcher, Sand Hearse, and Unknown Marching Men, which is located in the Klondike Bluffs area.
The climbing closures were put into effect in May to protect the 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 in May. 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.
Several routes or features inside the park are still closed to rock climbing to protect sensitive wildlife species. Harkonnen Castle – which applies to the entire feature known as Ham Rock, officials said – is scheduled to reopen on Aug. 15. The following climbing routes are scheduled to reopen on Aug. 31, according to the news release: Canyonlands by Night, The Coup, and El Second, which are located along U.S. 191; Klondike Bluffs Crack in the Klondike Bluffs area; Route One and Route Two, in the area known as The Bouquet; Fun Ramp, The Hyena and Trail of the Navajo, located on state Route 128 near Goose Island campground; and Escape Route, located on SR 128.
Park officials said the closures will remain in effect through the end of the planned termination date, or until surveys determine associated habitats to be unoccupied by nesting raptors and/or lambing desert bighorn sheep.
Some routes could reopen earlier than expected if lambing sheep or nesting raptors are not found to be in the area, officials said. Routes could also be closed longer than planned if studies show that wildlife will be impacted.