Boulder Canyon climbing area reopens after eaglet fledges

BOULDER, Colo. – Following a five month closure to protect nesting golden eagles, the Roosevelt National Forest has reopened Eagle Rock climbing area in Boulder Canyon.

“The Boulder Canyon eagles successfully raised one strong and healthy eaglet this year,” said wildlife biologist Aurelia DeNasha with the USDA Forest Service. “Two chicks hatched initially, but unfortunately only one survived to fledge, which isn’t uncommon in birds of prey.”

Post-fledging visits to the nest did not reveal the exact cause of death of the second chick, but cooperation by climbers with the closures are crucial to the eagles’ success each season.

“Golden eagle pairs are most susceptible to disturbance when choosing a nesting site. These closures allow the birds to pick the best site for survival without impact of other factors, such as human presence. Once chosen, the nest site stays closed until the eagles fledge in late July,” said DeNasha.

After the eagles’ site selection was made unused areas reopened in April.

The annual nesting closures include popular rock climbing spots at Eagle Rock, Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress and Security Risk in Boulder Canyon. These areas are located along Colorado Highway 119, approximately 1.5 miles east of Boulder Falls.

Effective through July 31, 2020, the closures protect a long-established golden eagle nesting territory. Happy Hour, Bihedral and Riviera remain open as long as visitors stay out of the closed areas.

The Boulder Ranger District partners with the Boulder Climbing Community and the Access Fund to monitor nesting progress and to inform climbers about the importance of giving the eagles space to raise their young.   

It is against federal and state law to disturb any nesting bird of prey. Only employees, volunteers and wildlife professionals under an agreement with the Forest Service enter nesting areas for monitoring purposes. This is for the integrity of nest and the safety of the eagles, those conducting surveys, and the public. Visitors can help protect wildlife by respecting all closures and leaving immediately if you should accidentally enter one.

For the most current closure information, check signs in the areas, call the Boulder Ranger District office at 303-541-2500, or visit local climbing websites or