California

Want to see the poppy super bloom at Lake Elsinore? Now you’ll have to pay

Soar over this stunning Southern California poppy super bloom

A drone video shows Walker Canyon's rolling hillsides of brilliant orange poppy fields. The spectacle has drawn crowds of tourists to the spot in Lake Elsinore, California.
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A drone video shows Walker Canyon's rolling hillsides of brilliant orange poppy fields. The spectacle has drawn crowds of tourists to the spot in Lake Elsinore, California.

If you want to join the crowds of visitors checking out the wildflowers at one Southern California spot, be prepared to pay up.

The city of Lake Elsinore in Riverside County will require that those who make the trip to nearby Walker Canyon to see the hillsides of California poppies park in designated areas and take a $10 shuttle ride to the bloom, according to a city news release.

The announcement was made during a Thursday morning press conference.

Shuttle Detail Slide (1).jpg
City of Lake Elsinore

Lake Street — which crosses under I-15 and has been clogged with visitor traffic — will be closed, according to a map included with the media kit. No animals will be allowed, and children under age 3 will be free.

The shuttle is part of city officials’ attempt to control the massive “Disneyland size crowds” of flower tourists that overran the area last weekend.

Officials temporarily closed Walker Canyon on Sunday but reopened it by Monday, saying they don’t have enough resources to completely cut off tourist activity.

The Walker Canyon poppy bloom is so vibrant, it can be seen from Los Angeles International Airport flights 30,000 feet up in the air — it even makes an appearance in satellite photos.

The Pechanga Tribal Council on Thursday announced it would provide a grant of up to $100,000 to help with super bloom traffic control.

“This natural wonder is a treasure to be enjoyed by Californians, but we need to be responsible about it,” Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro said in a statement.

“Elsinore is part of our ancestral territory, and we even have reservation lands there. We are pleased to support the city and our local partners to help better manage traffic control and public safety for the thousands of visitors enjoying the super bloom, as well as the local residents and commuters impacted by traffic conditions. Conservation and protection of our natural resources are important values to our tribe.”

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