Soar over this stunning Southern California poppy super bloom
Lake Elsinore — a Southern California city that was ground zero for this year’s “poppy palooza” — has declared an end to the area’s wildflower super bloom.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors began to swarm the Riverside County town in late February and early March after California poppies and other wildflowers began blooming in nearby Walker Canyon.
Lake Elsinore officials tried to close the area to the “Disneyland-size crowds,” but quickly realized they didn’t have enough resources to keep it shut down. Eventually, they closed certain roads, created parking areas and instated a $10 shuttle service for flower tourists.
Now, nearly a month later, the city is withdrawing its additional resources, citing a fading bloom and a decrease in visitor traffic, according to a Monday news release.
Last weekend, 4,658 visitors took the shuttle to Walker Canyon — down from the 12,062 tourists the shuttle transported during the weekend of March 30 and 31.
City personnel will monitor the wildflower area for illegal activity, but no additional resources will be devoted to Walker Canyon during the weekend or on weekdays, according to the release. Officials expect visitor activity to taper off soon.
“The super bloom has been unlike any event we have ever experienced before,” Mayor Steve Manos said in the release. “The extreme beauty of our hillsides that drew attention from around the world is now diminishing quickly, and our residents sure are eager for things to get back to normal.”