Raptor Closures

Red-tailed Hawk perched on pine tree
Red-tailed Hawk perched on top of a pine tree.


Each year, Rocky Mountain National Park initiates adaptive, temporary closures in certain areas of the park to ensure birds of prey, also known as raptors, will be undisturbed during their roosting, breeding, and nesting seasons. Raptors are sensitive to human disturbance during these times and repeated breeding failures can reduce overall raptor species populations.

Temporary closures occur at known raptor roosting and nesting sites that are also near rock climbing routes, hiking trails, or other focused recreational use areas. Temporary closures also protect park visitors, as raptors may attack people to defend their nests.

A raptor monitoring volunteer is educating visitors at Lumpy Ridge


Why Do Raptor Closures Matter?

To balance raptor protection and human recreational activities, RMNP monitors raptors throughout the breeding and nesting season to inform the timing and extent of temporary closures:

  • At nest sites where breeding activity is observed, closures remain in place and monitoring continues.
  • At nest sites where no breeding activity is observed, closures may be lifted early.
  • If evidence of nesting is found in a new location, a new temporary closure may be recommended depending on the risk of human disturbance to that nest.

Do your part to protect raptors. Recreate Responsibly and Respect Area Closures.

Areas not listed are presumed to be open.

  • Closures include all climbing, approach, and descent routes for the indicated formation on all sides of those formations.

  • Closure notices will also be posted at key access points in the park.

As breeding and nesting data are collected, additional closures may be lifted or extended.

When necessary, park rangers will issue citations to persons violating the terms of this closure under the authority of 36 CFR 1.5(f).


Raptor Closures have been lifted in the Lumpy Ridge and Loch Vale Areas

Each year, Rocky Mountain National Park initiates temporary closures in certain areas of the park to ensure that birds of prey will be undisturbed during their breeding and nesting seasons. These closures begin on February 15 and continue through July 31, if appropriate. Monitoring by park staff and volunteers have determined that all remaining closures can be lifted on July 28, 2023.

Bald Eagle Closure Map along the Colorado River

Bald Eagle Closures are in Effect November 15 through March 15

Closures are in effect on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park near the Colorado River annually from November 15 through March 15 for the protection of migrating Bald Eagles. Each winter, Bald Eagles return to a communal winter roost site near the Colorado River, on U.S. Forest Service land adjacent to the park. To limit disturbance, Rocky Mountain National Park closes portions of the East Shore trail, a stretch of the Colorado River, and Columbine Bay.
The Colorado River and a zone 300-yards wide on both sides of the river are closed to human entry during this time. Hiking on Ranger Meadows Loop trail, outside the closure, is permitted.
Closures are collaboratively managed by Rocky Mountain National Park and the U.S. Forest Service and will be lifted or extended as necessary.

Bull elk is in a meadow and there is a meadow closed sign in the foreground
What Areas Are Closed for Wildlife?

Learn more about seasonal closures for the protection of wildlife

Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree
RMNP's Raptor Monitoring Program

Learn about RMNP's Raptor Monitoring Program

Rough-legged Hawk in flight
2022 Raptor Monitoring Survey Results

Learn more about the 2022 Raptor Monitoring Survey Results

Last updated: July 29, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

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.

Contact Us