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Eaton Canyon will reopen Saturday, but you need reservations

Visitors stream into and out of Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park during Memorial Day weekend.
Visitors stream into and out of Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park during Memorial Day weekend. The park closed May 24 because of overcrowding.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Angelenos can again enjoy Eaton Canyon this weekend, but they’ll need to plan ahead.

The trail system will reopen Saturday, but visitors will be required to make a reservation for timed entrance to the Eaton Canyon Natural Area.

Los Angeles County Parks and Recreations officials shut down the popular hiking area May 24 “due to overwhelming crowds that were not following the COVID-19 public health requirements.”

The nature area, like other parks across Los Angeles County, was closed for months amid the coronavirus pandemic. But after reopening, the Pasadena-area trails, which feature a waterfall, were run overrun by hikers who failed to practice social distancing.

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“Reservations will help keep the Eaton Canyon trails from overcrowding and allow enough space for trail users to maintain physical distancing of six feet,” department officials said Thursday in a release.

Visitors will need to follow the rules, including selecting one of three time blocks — 8-11 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. or 2-5 p.m. — and sign up at least a day in advance. Same-day reservations are not available.

To make a reservation, go to the parks department’s reservation website, make a free account and select an available time.

To prevent overcrowding, the department has limited each period to 85 reservations, which include one vehicle or up to four people. The timed entry tickets are free.

Hikers are encouraged to bring water and hand sanitizer. Coolers, umbrellas, shade tents, barbecues and chairs are not allowed, and some bathrooms will be closed.

Those who wish to enter will be required to show proof of reservation and photo ID to get into the area. Visitors also will be required to keep moving, socially distance and wear masks while passing others.

“Visitors may be asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance,” the parks department said.


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