Eagles at Wildcat

Trail Closures when Eagles are Nesting

The Wildcat Mountain Trail System is home to a Golden Eagle Nest. Bald and Golden Eagles and their nests are protected by Federal Law and require trail closures and buffers when the nests are active. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires certain trail closures in order for the HRCA to be in compliance with Federal Law. Each year, the entire Wildcat Mountain Trail System (Yellow and Purple Trails in map below) closes from January 1st through March 31st for wintering wildlife. This is also the time period where eagles begin their courtship and nesting behavior and the closure is required by the USFWS. 

April 1st, the trail system opens, except for the Wildcat Mountain Trail (Purple Trail). It remains closed if the eagles have begun nesting. The Purple Trail, along with part of Douglas County’s East/West Trail (The RED part) remain closed through September 1st as required by USFWS. The rest of the Douglas County Trail (Green and Blue parts, as well as the yellow parts of the Wildcat Trail System are open during eagle nesting. The Red D.C. Trail does not close until mid-March; typically when the eagles are confirmed as nesting and then remains closed through September 1st, along with the Purple trail. Questions: Mark.Giebel@hrcaonline.org.

Golden Eagles at Wildcat

Click on a question below to see the answer.

Are the Eagles likely to return next year and will the same closure occur?

Eagles do tend to return to a previously used nest year after year, however they may choose a different site some years, and return on other years. We will evaluate whether or not the closure is necessary each year. If the eagles return, the same closure will occur unless otherwise recommended by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and/or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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