Annual August County Park Closures

Six San Diego County parks will be closed in August, a safety measure taken each year because of the month’s typically high temperatures. El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center, Mt. Gower Preserve near Ramona and Wilderness Gardens in Pala will be closed Aug. 1 through Aug. 31. In addition, Agua Caliente Regional Park in Anza Borrego and Vallecito County Park near Julian are closed all summer; they reopen Labor Day weekend.

The closures also provide Department of Parks and Recreation staff an opportunity to conduct maintenance projects like facility upgrades and trail restoration.

There are more than 100 other County parks and preserves to explore during the month of August. Rent a boat at Lake Morena County Park for fishing and water activities, book a staycation at one of six County campgrounds, or visit a butterfly garden at Lindo Lake or San Dieguito County Parks. If it is really hot, plan your next hike by taking one of these virtual tours, or visit our Virtual Recreation Center for fun activities you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.

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 can be too much for your dog when the air and ground are hot. Don’t head out in extreme heat. Here are eight tips for hiking with your dog. 
  • Take plenty of water to stay hydrated. Rangers recommend one liter (about a quart) for every 2 to 3 miles.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Check out these additional tips for hiking on hot days.
  • 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 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.
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