A popular hiking spot in the Angeles National Forest will close to visitors Friday after officials deemed the trails too dangerous for visitors.
Eaton Canyon’s Upper Falls area has been the site of numerous rescues, injuries and deaths in recent years as hikers have made their way up narrow ridges.
A 19-year-old woman fell 50 feet Wednesday down the steep terrain north of Pasadena, stopped by a tree, and had to be rescued by helicopter.
The unidentified hiker did not sustain any serious injuries, according to officials, but similar rescues and the frequency of hikers in distress prompted the closure, much to the disappointment of avid canyoneers who frequent the trail.
“We continue to get people dying, falling off the cliff, having to be rescued, all at the cost of the taxpayers,” Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy told NBC4 in June, when the planned closure was announced. “We’re closing a small portion of the upper waterfalls, to close off the area where people have been dying.”
Five people have died in the area since 2011.
The closure will affect user-created trails heading to the upper waterfall area and the surrounding area - about 84 acres in total.
A group has been put together to reach out to canyoneers with a campaign to educate visitors about the dangers of the area, according to a statement from the Forest Service. Additionally, hikers who trespass into the closed area could face up to a $5,000 fine or six months in jail.
Access will remain open to the Lower Falls area.