Parks and Rec

Several County Parks Beginning Annual August Closure

Wilderness Gardens

County Parks and Recreation will close four parks in August, a precaution taken each year due to the month’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 near Julian is closed all summer; it will reopen Labor Day weekend.

Luckily, there are nearly 100 other County parks and preserves to explore during the month of August. Try a visit to the newly restored 22.5-mile trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians at the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park near the border; catch an ocean breeze and a view of the wetlands from Annie’s Canyon Trail at the  San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve in Cardiff-by-the-Sea; or cool off in the 830-foot long fountains at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego.

If you do go out for a hike, be smart about it! Below are some safety tips hikers should consider before lacing up their boots and 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.
  • Take plenty of water to stay hydrated – one bottle is not enough.
  • 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, 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.

Michelle Mowad is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact