File under: Why we can’t have nice things.
Just one day after we had to inform a group of Stanford Alumni that taking spray paint and sharpies into the Santa Monica Mountains to “leave their mark” was probably not the best of ideas, we have just received word from California State Parks’ Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap that the Corral Canyon Cave — better known by the erroneous name “Jim Morrison Cave” — will be completely closed to the public until further notice.
From his email to Modern Hiker:
Starting this Monday (May 2, 2016), the Corral Canyon Cave (aka Jim Morrison Cave) will be closed to the public. This action was necessary to protect the natural resources. The area has become popular with the public when a rumor began through social media that Jim Morrison from The Doors was said to have frequented the location. As a result large crowds have shown up on a daily basis to see the often vandalized cave and in some cases add to the vandalism with graffiti of their own. While State Park Rangers have been successful in catching and arresting several individuals for felony vandalism, however the graffiti of the cave and surrounding area has increased.
State Parks will be installing several signs in the parking lot, along the fire road leading to the cave and at the cave itself notifying visitors that the cave and attached rock feature is closed and that violators will be subject to citation if they enter the closed area. For the first week or two our hope is that the signs, a Ranger presence and an interpretive and educational approach will quickly lead to a drastic reduction in the number and frequency of people coming to this location. In cases where individuals violate the closure they will be subject to citation, ejection and/or arrest.
The full PDF of the official closure order is included below. A State Park seasonal lifeguard has added commentary to the closure on All Things Malibu.
While we at Modern Hiker are saddened at the closure of any public space, we support the Superintendent’s decision here. It was clear that countless acts of vandalism in this area have not only phenomenally altered the natural environment, but that graffiti was attracting even worse actions from the people who were visiting the area — all under the alleged guise of visiting a spot where an artist was said to get inspired by nature. (Nevermind the fact that there’s zero historical evidence Morrison ever came here in the first place).
We are happy that action is being taken and hope eventually the State Parks will be able to restore this area to its former, un-“improved” condition. If we hear of any volunteer opportunities to assist, we will be sure to share them with you.
If you see vandalism in progress in Malibu Creek State Park, call 951-443-2969. To report existing graffiti, call 818-880-0367.
Image of the cave from yelp.com