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Six San Diego County parks will be closed in August due to extreme heat. The closures take place most years as a safety precaution, while providing Department of Parks and Recreation staff with an opportunity to conduct maintenance such as trail restoration.

El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center, Mt. Gower Preserve near Ramona and Wilderness Gardens in Pala are closed Aug. 1 through Aug. 31. In addition, Agua Caliente Regional Park and Vallecito County Park near Julian are closed all summer; they will reopen Labor Day weekend.

There are nearly 100 other County parks and preserves to explore during the month of August. Follow the switchbacks on the County’s newest trail; catch a coastal breeze while picnicking at Otay Valley Regional Park; go boating at Lake Morena County Park, or attend Wilderness Survival School at San Dieguito County Park.

If you do go out for a hike, be smart about it! Below are some safety tips hikers should consider before hitting the trails:

  • Let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return.
  • Hike with others, never alone.
  • Leave your dog at home for difficult hikes. Even “easy” hikes may be too much for your dog when the air or ground are too hot.
  • Take plenty of water to stay hydrated. Our ranger recommends one liter (about a quart) for every two to three miles.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.
  • Take breaks in shade, if possible.
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone, map and/or GPS.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, ventilated clothing.
  • Bring along a warm jacket if you plan to stay out after dusk.
  • Wear sturdy shoes with traction for slippery rocks.
  • Follow all posted safety rules.
  • Bring ample food, sunscreen to reapply, a flashlight, first aid kit, multi-purpose tool or knife and a whistle.
  • Know your limitations; choose trails that match your level of physical fitness and areas where you are not going to get lost

For additional information on visiting County Parks, visit


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