June 23, 2022 - On May 2nd, the northern portion of an existing historic landslide at Beacons Beach reactivated and moved downslope to the west. The movement created numerous visible cracks in the existing slope, as well as damage to the existing beach access trail from the Beacons parking lot down to the beach.
Since that time, the City of Encinitas and Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been monitoring and evaluating the Beacons Beach bluff and parking lot. Slope monitoring equipment was installed throughout the bluff area to record slope movement and provide data to Scripps and the City. Based on the data that has been collected over the past 8 weeks, the City’s geotechnical engineer has determined that the bluff is stabilizing. Trail repair work will begin next week with the goal of opening the trail in time for the 4th of July. Please continue to avoid the area while repair work is underway.
The City will continue working with Scripps, State Parks, and Coastal Commission to monitor the bluff and maintain beach access.
June 6, 2022 - City staff and Scripps Institute of Oceanography staff continue to monitor the bluff failure at Beacon’s Beach. There appears to be continued minor movement on the slope, causing additional distress and damage to the trail. No movement has been reported in the parking lot or sidewalk. Weekly monitoring will continue for the next few months. Once no more movement is detected, City geotechnical engineers will make a recommendation to for potential remediation. Staff is seeking an emergency permit from the Coastal Commission for the temporary closure of the trail and parking lot, and for the monitoring equipment.
May 5, 2022 - On May 2nd, the northern portion of an existing historic landslide at Beacons Beach reactivated and moved downslope to the west. The movement created numerous visible cracks in the existing slope, as well as damage to the existing access trail from the Beacons parking lot downslope to the beach.
The City of Encinitas and Scripps Institute of Oceanography will continue to evaluate the Beacons Beach access area and parking lot over the next month. Seismic monitoring equipment has been installed throughout the bluff area which records seismic activity on a daily basis and provides data to Scripps and the City. The data is critical as it will assist the City’s geotechnical engineer in assessing the situation to determine a path forward with a safe plan for a potential reopening. In the meantime, temporary fencing and signage have been placed both above and below the bluff area to warn of the recent landslide activity and to keep beachgoers safely out of the area.
Beacons Beach bluff access will remain temporarily closed during the observation period for at least the next 30 days.
The City will continue working with Scripps, State Parks, and Coastal Commission as more information is gathered.
May 2, 2022 - During the late evening of May 1st or early morning of May 2nd, the northern portion of an existing historic landslide at Beacons Beach reactivated and moved downslope to the west. The movement created numerous visible cracks in the existing slope, as well as damage to the existing access trail from the Beacons parking lot downslope to the beach. There were no reported injuries.
Early inspection on May 2nd appears to indicate that the landslide movement was slow, and that the movement has stopped. In an abundance of caution, City geotechnical and engineering staff will monitor and evaluate the landslide area for potential future instability for the next 30 to 90 days. Effective immediately, the parking lot and the beach access trail will be temporarily closed to all persons until further notice.
The coastal bluff at Beacons Beach has experienced episodic instability associated with a large historic landslide. Landslide movement damaged previous beach access stairways during winter storms in 1982 and 1983. Since that time, access to the beach is via a switchback trail leading down from a public parking lot along the west side of Neptune Avenue. The coastal landslide encompasses virtually all the coastal bluff below the parking lot at Beacons. Additional movement of the landslide was experienced again in 1990. Other than the current landslide movement, the area has seen very little movement for the last approximately 30 years.
Residents and visitors that typically access the beach via the switchback trail are prohibited from using the trail until both the landslide monitoring is complete and access is granted again by the City of Encinitas. Beach goers are encouraged to use Stonesteps or Grandview beach access until the Beacons trail is reopened.