REGION — Five San Diego County parks will be closed in August due to expected high temperatures, county officials said this weekend.
The closures are undertaken each year and provide Department of Parks and Recreation staff an opportunity to conduct maintenance, including trail restoration, according to the department. The work is generally performed in the early morning or evening hours when the weather is cooler.
El Capitan Preserve in Lakeside, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center and Mt. Gower County Preserve in Ramona will be closed Aug. 1-31. In addition, Agua Caliente and Vallecito County parks near Anza Borrego are closed all summer and will reopen Labor Day weekend.
County officials recommended the following safety precautions for those planning to go hiking during the hot summer months:
— Let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return;
— Hike with others, never alone;
— Leave dogs at home for difficult hikes; even “easy” hikes might be too much for your dog when the air or ground are too hot;
— 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;
— 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, 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 won’t get lost.
For additional information on visiting San Diego County parks, visit sdparks.org.