PALM DESERT, Calif. -

Vandals have spray painted, and "stickered" the sign indicating a closure of the top of the Bump and Grind hiking trail near Palm Desert.  The vandalism occurred sometime before Monday, and makes the wording completely illegible.

Officials were unaware of the vandalism until they were contacted by CBS Local 2 news, said Visitor Services Information Assistant  Judy Colgero of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.  Colgero said someone would check out the sign on Thursday.

The gate and sign indicate hikers are not supposed to ascend to the top of the trail during Bighorn Sheep lambing season, which runs from February through May.

Officials from the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, who put up the sign, said they would look into the issue.

The closure of the popular trail brought concern from many hikers, who felt it was unnecessary or excessive.  State Assemblyman Brian Nestande authored a bill allowing for the compromise to open the top of the trail nine months of the year.