Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures

Pergrine Falcon

Peregrine falcons, an endangered species in New York State, nest on cliffs in the Adirondack Mountains. The population of peregrine falcons has steadily grown since the DEC undertook hacking programs in the Adirondacks in the late 1970s.

Cliffs with known peregrine falcon nesting sites are monitored annually throughout the Adirondacks. Rock climbing routes with active nest sites are temporarily closed to prevent any disturbances that might interfere with the successful raising of the young peregrine falcons.

The closure of climbing routes is based on a number of factors, primarily the route's proximity and visibility to a nesting site. Each situation is unique and a specific distance from the nest site can not be used to make a closure determination. DEC's priority is protecting an endangered species; however, attempts are made to maximize the opportunities for climbing at the same time.

At the beginning of the season DEC closes whole or large portions of cliffs where peregrine falcons have regularly nested. This allows them to choose a nesting site without any being troubled by climbing activity. They often choose a site quickly and begin nesting earlier, than when the cliff's were subject to climbing activities. Climbers benefit because an earlier nesting start results in an earlier fledging of the young and therefore the closed routes are re-opened sooner.

May 13, 2016

Rock climbing routes closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons.

Wilmington Notch

All routes on Moss Cliff and Labor Day Wall remain closed.

Chapel Pond Pass

All routes on the Upper Washbowl Cliff are open and all routes on Lower Washbowl Cliffs remain closed.

Crane Mountain

All routes within the Amphitheater on the Black Arches Wall (from #86 "Project" to #97 "Gun Show"of Adirondack Rock - A Rock Climber's Guide) remain closed. All other climbing routes on the mountain are open.

Shelving Rock Mountain, Lake George

All routes on the Main Wall are now open. All routes on the Big Wall and Jackass Buttress (the routes between and including #52 "Enduro Man" and #66 "Winds of Change"). Please use the lower approach trail that ascends the talus below the Main Wall.

Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain

All routes on the Main Face of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain are closed, except the following (See pages 39-45 of Adirondack Rock - A Rock Climber's Guide):

  • Opposition
  • Goat's Foot on Rock
  • High and Dry
  • Bushmaster
  • Big Buddha
  • Bushido
  • Bodacious
  • Pearly Gates
  • Kaibob
  • Battle Creel
  • Static Cling
  • Certified Raw
  • Air Male
  • Son of a Mother
  • Phase III
  • Bastard
  • Ladder
  • Puppies on Edge
  • Hang 'em High
  • Group Therapy
  • Adonis
  • Pandemonium
  • Discord
  • A Womb with a View

Efforts are still underway by DEC staff and volunteers to determine the locations of falcon nest sites at Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain and Moss Cliff.

DEC appreciates the cooperation of the climbing community. Once the peregrine falcons have begun nesting DEC will open climbing routes that won't interfere with falcon nesting and rearing activities.

Climbers on other cliffs or routes should report any aggressive or agitated peregrine falcon behavior to the DEC Wildlife Office 518-897-1291 or

More about Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures:

  • Important Links
  • Links Leaving DEC's Website
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Region 5 Wildlife
    1115 State Route 86
    P.O. Box 296
    Ray Brook, NY 12977
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Adirondacks region