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Eaton Canyon closed till June 1 after being overrun by visitors

Visitors stream in and out of Eaton Canyon Natural Area park on Sunday in Pasadena during the Memorial Day weekend, before the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department closed the trails.
Visitors stream in and out of Eaton Canyon Natural Area park on Sunday in Pasadena during the Memorial Day weekend, before the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department closed the trails.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

A popular hiking area in Pasadena has been closed for the rest of the month amid concerns that crowded conditions could pose health risks.

Officials closed Eaton Canyon on Sunday after the area was overwhelmed by crowds.

The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation said the area would be shuttered for the remainder of the Memorial Day weekend “due to overwhelming crowds that were not following the COVID-19 public health requirements.” On Tuesday, officials extended the order and reminded hikers of the rules:

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  • Users are encouraged to check the Trails LA County website before visiting trails for an updated lists of openings, safety guidelines, notifications and up-to-date information. The website offers information for more than 600 miles of trails, including those managed by partner agencies.
  • Download the Trails LA County mobile app before heading out for real-time updates and offline location tracking and trail information.
  • Do not visit public trails and trailheads if feeling sick or exhibiting any symptoms of illness.
  • Follow all posted regulations at trails and trailhead facilities.
  • Physical distancing of six feet is required. No group gatherings are allowed on trails or in parking lots.
  • Limit visits to members of your household only.
  • Everyone needs a face covering at the trailhead/parking lots and on any trails where there are other groups of people nearby.
    • Infants and children under age 2 should not wear cloth face coverings. Those ages 2- 8 should use them but under adult supervision to ensure that the child can breathe safely and avoid choking or suffocation. Children with breathing problems should not wear a face covering.
  • Consider avoiding popular locations that are prone to crowds.
  • Alert trail users of your presence and step aside to let others pass.
  • Bring water, hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes to wash or sanitize hands frequently.
  • Practice the leave-no-trace principles on the trails to protect park staff and wildlife. Remove trash.

Overall, officials said there were no major problems at beaches during Memorial Day, though some places, such as the Venice Boardwalk, saw dense crowds with some people not wearing masks.

Warm conditions this week are expected to lure more people outdoors, particularly to the beaches.

A heat wave will bake Southern California through Thursday, boosting the mercury to dangerously high levels in some inland areas and parching vegetation that could serve as fuel for brush fires, forecasters say.

Inland areas will see maximum temperatures 10 to 18 degrees above normal, with many valleys hitting the 90s and some cracking triple digits, according to the National Weather Service.

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The coast will have a more subtle uptick, with temperatures four to six degrees warmer than usual for this time of year.


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