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County Parks and Recreation will close several parks for the month of August, a precaution taken each year due to the season’s expected extreme heat.

El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Mt. Gower Preserve near Ramona, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center and Wilderness Gardens in Pala are closed Aug. 1 through Aug. 31.

In addition, Agua Caliente Regional Park and Vallecito County Park in the Anza-Borrego Desert are closed all summer. They will reopen Labor Day weekend.

Luckily, there are nearly 100 other County parks and preserves to explore during the month of August. Cool off in the giant fountain at Waterfront Park or splashpads at two other County parks. After the sun sets, head to Summer Movies in the Park for free! Or simply take a virtual tour of a park without breaking a sweat.

If you do go out for a hike, be smart about it! Below are some safety tips hikers:

Follow all posted safety rules.

Let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return.

Hike with others.

Leave your dog at home for difficult hikes or any hike when it’s too hot

Take plenty of water to stay hydrated – one bottle is probably not enough. If you do bring your dog, don’t forget water for them too!

Wear lightweight, light-colored, ventilated clothing; sturdy shoes with traction for slippery rocks; sunscreen; a hat and sunglasses.

Take breaks in the shade, if possible.

Take a fully charged mobile phone, map and/or GPS.

Bring ample food, sunscreen to reapply, 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 sdparks.org.

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