Climbing Closures in Place to Protect Rare Falcons

The 2018 climbing closure to protect rare falcons has been lifted as of July 26.


Each year the U.S. Forest Service closes several rock faces in western North Carolina to recreational activities, including rock climbing, to protect the rare Peregrine Falcons that nest there.

Wildlife biologists in the state have been working since the 1980's to help recover Peregrine Falcons, which dwindled to only one mating pair in NC in the 1950's. Perhaps the greatest challenge to the recovery of the species is nesting success. Peregrine falcons mate for life and return to the same site each year to nest. If the pair is disturbed, they will leave the site and may not nest again until the following year. Please help us save this species by avoiding the rock cliffs in the following areas when they are posted closed:

Appalachian District - Whiterock Cliff and Buzzard's Roost
Grandfather District - NC Wall and Shortoff Mountain (in Linville Gorge), Big Lost Cove Cliffs
Nantahala District - Pickens Nose (east face) and Whiteside Mountain
Pisgah District - Looking Glass Rock (north face) and Cedar Rock (north face)

We are currently assessing the presence of ice and any potential effects of ice and associated ice climbing on the timing and success of peregrine falcon nesting and fledging.


Climbing Restrictions closure order, January 19, 2016-2019 

Revised Climbing Restrictions closure order, January 19, 2018-August 15, 2020 

Rare Falcon