California Hikers Are Taking Risks on Trails After Flooding

Maybe just wait until you know it's safe?

Flash Flood sign
A sign sits near a creek in Eaton Canyon as recent storms have caused mudslides on local hiking trails.
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California has kicked off 2023 with a harrowing array of extreme weather, with regions throughout the state contending with flooding and landslides, among other catastrophes. This extreme weather has led to dozens of parks across the state closing temporarily. It’s not hard to see why — the prospect of falling trees, flooding rivers or mudslides, to say nothing of a combination of any or all of these things, doesn’t make for ideal park-going conditions.

And yet some people are still venturing out under potentially dangerous conditions. As the Los Angeles Times reports, this has prompted many connoisseurs of the outdoors to venture out anyway — even if they might be traversing terrain that’s turned hostile. Or, in at least one case, fatal.

The article also describes other hikers who ventured out into the wild and found themselves trapped by flooded rivers and in need of rescue.

Still, plenty of hikers have still embraced the weather and ventured out despite the potential dangers along the way. One hiker quoted in the story spoke of being aware of the risks, saying, “I know it’s not the safest time right now, but I wasn’t going to turn back, because this really is the most beautiful time to enjoy the park and nature.”

But it’s one thing to say you’re aware of the risks and another to need an airlift rescue — and the line between one and the other isn’t as big as one might think.

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