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Forest Service to close dangerous stretch of Eaton Canyon Trail

The trial to lower Eaton Canyon Falls, depicted above, will not be not affected by the closure of the trail to the upper falls that takes effect Aug. 1
The trial to lower Eaton Canyon Falls, depicted above, will not be not affected by the closure of the trail to the upper falls that takes effect Aug. 1
Molly Peterson/KPCC

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The National Forest Service has decided to close a hiking trail to a popular waterfall in the San Gabriel Mountains for safety reasons.

Starting August 1, the forest service will close the section of Eaton Canyon trail between the lower and upper waterfalls.

Since 2011, five people have died and dozens have had to be rescued while making the trek. In places the trail hugs the rim of a steep canyon wall.

Nathan Judy is a spokesman for the Forest Service. He says a public outreach campaign about the dangers of the hike has been ongoing for more than two years.  But it hasn’t worked.

Forest Service personnel and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies will patrol the area to advise hikers of the closure. They'll also issue citations to violators. The maximum penalty is a five thousand dollar fine or six months in jail.

The closure will remain in place for a year and could be extended.