Too Many Visitors Loving The Ventura Mountains Prompts Continued Closures

Written by on August 4, 2020

A popular Ventura County hiking area that was loved to death by hikers … during the pandemic … will remain off-limits for the next two months.

Unsafe crowding conditions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Los Padres National Forest, part of Santa Paula Canyon — from the forest boundary to about three miles above the area known as the Punch Bowl — will remain closed until Sept. 30.

Also closed will be the Big Cone, Cross and Jackson Hole campgrounds and the Last Chance Trail.

Heavy vehicle traffic … overcrowded parking areas … piles of trash and large groups of visitors potentially creating conditions where recommended physical distancing protocol is not possible,” officials said of the new restrictions.

Hikers descended in droves to the Punch Bowl last spring … when stay at home orders were lifted.

Litter and human waste.

Hundreds of volunteers have since worked to remove thousands of pounds of trash and clean graffiti from the canyon.

All of these visitor overcrowding problems in Ventura County … have triggered official reaction.

Similar problems along the Malibu coast … not so much.

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