Starting October 8, San Bernadino National Forest Service officials have decided to close Upper Big Falls for at least one year to look into safety measures due an increase in injuries. This waterfall is a popular tourist and hiker destination in Forest Falls.
San Bernardino National Forest spokesperson John Miller said that the closed area is past an observation platform, and it’s only one small area of the falls that will be kept off limits. Violators could face fines. The remainder of the area will stay open, such as trailheads for Momyer trails and Vivian Creek, the lower fall area, and Falls Picnic Area.
Dozens of hikers and visitors to the area have been hurt while climbing around Upper Big Falls. Officials are going to look into how to make the area around “Blood Rock” (named so because of the injuries suffered there over the years) safer for visitors.
In 2015 alone, San Bernardino County firefighters and sheriff’s deputies had to rescue almost 60 people who were hurt climbing near the falls, most on Blood Rock. The rock formation has become uncovered more as the drought continues, which has reduced the flow of water and has left a 25-foot-high piece of exposed granite with water sluicing down either side of it.
According to PE.com, San Bernardino County Fire Department Captain Tom McIntosh, “There’s a real risk in there that’s not obvious to the public. We’ve got to do something and we’ve got to do it now.”
This closure will be the first since the 1980s.