Despite the large amount of traffic that Santa Paula Canyon receives, the network of trails is poorly maintained and often leads to people getting lost and wandering off trail. This leads to trampling of habitat, increased erosion, and it creates more opportunities for other hikers to get off trail as they follow others’ wrong turns.
In an attempt to lead hikers in the correct direction, other hikers have used spray paint to mark arrows on the rock faces and walls along the trial. This only encourages hikers to bring spray paint and it inevitably leads to more graffiti.
ForestWatch is looking to work with the US Forest Service to improve trail signage and maintenance in the canyon to help lessen off-trail trampling and improve the hiking experience for people on the trail.