In the intense heat of summer, the county of San Diego takes extra precautions to ensure the safety of its residents. This month, six county parks will be closed due to high temperatures.
Four county parks will be closed to visitors from Aug. 1 to 31: the El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center, Mt. Gower Preserve near Ramona and Wilderness Gardens in Pala, San Diego County officials said.
Two parks -- Agua Caliente Regional Park in Anza Borrego and Vallecito County Park near Julian -- have been closed all summer and will reopen for Labor Day weekend.
The closures go into effect each year as a safety precaution due to August's typically scorching temperatures. Meanwhile, the Department of Parks and Recreation will use the closure to maintain and restore the hiking trails.
Last year's average temperatures were the hottest ever recorded for an August month in several cities in the area, including San Diego, El Cajon and Chula Vista.
According to the National Weather Service, August has a 50 percent chance of producing temperatures above average for the Southern California region this year.
The county recommends visiting one of the other dozens of parks that will remain open during the month of August. Even on those trails, though, officials urge residents to be cautious and follow these safety tips:
- Let someone know where you will be and never hike alone
- Leave your pup at home for difficult hikes
- Take plenty of water. Rangers recommends one liter for every 2 to 3 miles
- Wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses and take breaks in the shade where possible
- Take a fully charged phone and a map or GPS device
- For more tips, visit here
If you're itching to visit one of the closed trails this summer, take a virtual tour here.