Why a Malibu cave made famous by a Jim Morrison rumor is closing

California State Park supervising ranger Lindsey Templeton, right, watches fellow ranger Dexter Crowder, center, enter the Corral Canyon Cave to cite one of a group of four artists for violation of a superintendent's closure order at Corral Canyon Cave. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
California State Park supervising ranger Lindsey Templeton, right, watches fellow ranger Dexter Crowder, center, enter the Corral Canyon Cave to cite one of a group of four artists for violation of a superintendent's closure order at Corral Canyon Cave. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Lindsey Templeton hiked down the dirt trail, through the thicket of purple sage and past the manzanita trees shrouding the cavern just a few hundred feet ahead.

Signs marking the path’s closure had been removed, thrown in the bushes nearby. Trash hung in the trees, littered the ground and sat wedged into the sandstone formation covered in graffiti.

“It’s spreading. It’s really sad,” said Templeton, a supervising ranger with California State Parks, as he looked at the paint covering the cave.

For years, Corral Canyon Cave has drawn hikers fond of the sweeping views of Malibu Creek State Park. And for years, most visitors respected the environment.

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