Head of a Peregrine Falcon.

2020 Peregrine Climbing Closures at the Gunks

Update 8/18/2020: All Peregrine Falcon closures have now been lifted.

Update 6/16/2020: Closures in the Trapps have been lifted. Closures are still in place at Bonticou Sunbowl, and Millbrook.

  • Millbrook: Hiking only on the Millbrook Ridge Trail and no cliff access south of Westward Ha!.
  • Bonticou Crag: No climbing in the area known as The Sunbowl.

For the latest status, visit mohonkpreserve.org/peregrine-watch.


The Mohonk Preserve has announced temporary climbing closures at the Trapps and Bonticou for nesting Peregrine Falcons. The closure in the Trapps is the same area as in 2019, which includes popular climbs like Sente, Thin Slabs, Arrow, Andrew, Moonlight, CCK, High Exposure, Ant’s Line, Bonnie’s Roof and The Yellow Wall. Please plan accordingly and consider the many other quality routes available at the Mohonk Preserve (except the Bonticou Sunbowl which is also closed for peregrines), as well as Peter’s Kill and Dickie Barre in Minnewaska State Park Preserve .

To learn more about why the cliffs have to be closed to climbing when the Peregrine Falcons are nesting, read our 2016 blog post Why Cliffs Are Closed For Peregrine Falcons.

For the latest news on the closures, check the Mohonk Preserve Peregrine Watch page.

We thank you for your patience and helping to protect the Peregrines.

Here’s the official announcement:

Peregrine Falcon breeding season has begun at Mohonk Preserve and we now have confirmed nesting activity at the Trapps and Bonticou. As a result, we are announcing the following temporary climbing-route and bouldering closures:

Due to nesting Peregrine Falcons, the following areas are temporarily closed to rock climbing. The closure is in effect as of March 6, 2020.

  • Trapps Cliff: No climbing between and including Wisecrack and Scary Area. Closure lifted 6/16/2020.
  • Trapps Bouldering: No bouldering between and including the problems Atlas and Venus in Scorpion.
  • Bonticou Crag: No climbing in the area known as The Sunbowl

To help protect the nesting Peregrine Falcons:

  • DO NOT use ascent trails or rappel routes that access these areas.
  • DO NOT use the trails at the top of the cliff in the closure area.
  • DO NOT use the section of the cliff base climbers trail between these routes.
  • PLEASE refrain from excessive noise making while in the vicinity of these closures.

Peregrine Falcons are listed by the State of New York as an Endangered Species and we are legally obligated to protect their nesting areas at Mohonk Preserve. The Peregrine breeding season may possibly run through late summer.

The Preserve has worked collaboratively with the climbing community for decades to help protect the Peregrine Falcons and appreciates their support of our conservation mission as they continue to enjoy the hundreds of unrestricted climbing routes available at Mohonk Preserve.

For more information and updates, visit mohonkpreserve.org/peregrine-watch

Peregrine Falcon in flight.

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