ENCINITAS — The parking lot and beach access trail at Beacon’s Beach will reopen June 30 after a month-long closure due to a reactivated landslide.
Following a May 2 bluff failure that created numerous cracks in the slope and damaged the iconic switchback trail that meanders down the bluff, crews repaired the trail and parking lot over this past week.
The City of Encinitas partnered with Scripps Institution of Oceanography to monitor and evaluate the bluff and parking lot over the past eight weeks. According to the city’s geotechnical engineer, the bluff is stabilizing.
The bluff failure in May was part of a historic landslide at Beacon’s.
Multiple plans to stabilize the bluff have been proposed over the past few years, including replacing the trail with a staircase, constructing a permanent seawall or building a sand-cement buttress at the base of the landslide.
The city currently plans to keep the existing switchback beach access trail and will continue working with Scripps, California State Parks and California Coastal Commission to monitor the bluff.
After a month of being separated from this Leucadia favorite, beachgoers are excited to once again frequent Beacon’s switchback trail.
“The trail is a critical part of Beacon’s and the experience there,” said Alex Mrazek, a member of Preserve Beacon’s, a local group that has advocated for the preservation of the switchback trail. “When you think about Encinitas and Leucadia, there’s not many beaches left where you can walk down a trail and it’s not concrete or wooden stairs or big sea walls next to you.”
Ari Marsh, another member of Preserve Beacon’s, also sees the switchback trail as essential to Beacon’s.
“Beacon’s is like the epicenter of Leucadia,” Marsh said. “[The trail] is one of our last natural beach bluff access areas. It’s a different experience than walking down a big huge concrete staircase.”