News Release

Sheep Mountain Closure Added, Other Closures Removed or Continued for the Protection of Nesting Raptors in Rocky Mountain National Park

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Date: June 9, 2023
Contact: Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer
Contact: Park Information Office, (970) 586-1206

Each year, to protect breeding and nesting sites used by raptors (also known as birds of prey), Rocky Mountain National Park officials initiate temporary closures in the park. These raptors include multiple species of hawks, owls, golden eagles, and peregrine falcons.  

To ensure that these birds can nest undisturbed, specific areas within the park are closed temporarily to public use during their breeding and nesting season. These areas are monitored by park wildlife managers.  

Due to raptor nesting activity, Sheep Mountain, located north of Lumpy Ridge, has been added to the park’s closure list. In addition to Sheep Mountain, the following areas remain closed: Twin Owls, Rock One, Thunder Buttress, The Parish, Sundance Buttress, The Needle and Cathedral Wall. These closures include all climbing, approach and descent routes for the indicated formations on all sides of those formations. Visit the park’s website at for maps and all details on specific raptor closure areas.  

Closures have been lifted in the following areas: The Book, Left Book, The Bookmark Pinnacle, Bookmark, Batman Rock, Batman Pinnacle, Checkerboard Rock, and Lightning Rock. The National Park Service is committed to preserving birds of prey. If nest sites are located or territorial behaviors such as aggressive divebombing/vocalizing or birds fleeing nest sites due to human disturbance are observed, please report the general location to      

The same cliffs that are critical for raptors also appeal to climbers. The cooperation of climbing organizations and individuals continues to be essential to the successful nesting of raptors in the park. Raptor closures began on February 15 and will continue through July 31, if appropriate. These closures may be extended longer or rescinded at an earlier date based on nesting activity.    

For further information on Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.

Last updated: June 9, 2023

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Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


970 586-1206
The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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