California was blessed this year with record amounts of rain, leaving the locals and experts hoping for a stunning “super bloom.” This natural phenomenon is a gift from Mother Nature that sees a colorful explosion of wildflowers, especially poppies, around the Riverside County area. After the last Groundhog Day, flower watchers and enthusiasts noted the first early signs of a potential super bloom in the area. But while that may be good news for the plants and environment, it may not be so great for the hopeful visitors and tourists this year. The town of Lake Elsinore has decided to close its one flower-full hotspot and all the trails running through it during the coming super bloom.
The Walker Canyon in Riverside County is an Instagram-worthy flower-peeping hotspot that experiences super bloom during spring when bright red and orange California poppies blanket the rolling slopes of the vast fields and miles of trails. During the brilliant super bloom in 2019, hoards of visitors gathered to watch the flower display swarming the canyon and Lake Elsinore. It was the nightmarish experience of 2019 that prompted the officials to take cautionary measures for a super bloom shutdown this year.
The Past Experience
During the 2019 season, the photo-hungry visitors and selfie-seekers wandered off-trails, trampling plants and picking wildflowers, causing damage to the flower buds. Due to the unprecedented number of tourists, the parking lots were full and the rest of them parked along narrow roads, blocking regular traffic. They also flooded the trailheads and other public spaces. One couple even went so far as to land a private helicopter in a poppy field for a super bloom photo session! It wasn’t long before the authorities started to refer to the situation as a safety emergency, especially due to the road gridlock and the increasing need for conducting rescue operations for inexperienced hikers. So, they’re understandably taking no chances this year!