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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Zion Temporarily Closes Climbing Routes To Protect Peregrines

Zion National Park offers some of the world's great rock climbing routes and climbers flock to the park to test their skills on its big cliffs. But some of those same cliffs are by peregrine falcons while they are nesting in the spring and so the park annually closes some routes to protect the birds.

Today the park announced that these areas will be closed to climbing beginning March 1:
  • Angel’s Landing
  • Cable Mountain
  • The Great Throne
  • Isaac in the Court of the Patriarchs
  • The Sentinel
  • Mountain of the Sun
  • North Twin Brother
  • Tunnel Wall
  • The East Temple
  • Mount Spry
  • The Streaks Wall
  • Mount Kinesava
  • Middle Fork of Taylor Creek
Park biologists will monitor these areas to identify active peregrine nests. Areas where there are no active nests will reopen to climbing in late April or early May. Areas with active nests will remain closed until falcon chicks fledge in late July.

Last Weekend To See Wild Elk

Sleigh rides through the elk herd at Hardware Ranch will continue through this weekend and then will close for the season.

Every year hundreds of wild elk winter in the meadow at Hardware Ranch, in the mountains southeast of Logan, in northern Utah. Utah wildlife officials feed the elk there to keep them in the mountains away from farmers fields in Cache Valley. Several large bulls have been seen among the herd this season.

Sleighs are used to transport hay out to the elk. The wild animals become accustomed to the sleighs and allow them to approach quite closely. Visitors at the ranch can ride the hay wagons and get close-up views of the elk.

With average temperatures warming and spring just around the corner, snow will be melting and so the sleigh rides will soon stop running. As snow melts the elk will migrate into the surrounding mountains.

Seeing the elk is a great wildlife viewing opportunity. See this news release for details.

-- Dave Webb

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