Super Bloom Ends, Thank You to Community and Partners
City Survives Super Bloom with Local and Regional Support
Super Bloom 2019 Update:
INFORMATION BELOW IS AS OF THURSDAY, APRIL 8- Content is only updated as things change.
As of April 8, 2019, the City is declaring that the Super Bloom is nearly over. After more than four weeks of thousands of visitors flocking to Walker Canyon's remarkable California Poppy Super Bloom, the City and its partners suspend efforts as the bloom comes to an end.
Officials say the poppies are now well past their peak and on their way out. More specifically, rangers have noted that many of the poppies have begun to drop their petals and plants have started to desiccate, or wither.
In fact, the poppies are no longer visible from Interstate 15 and require visitors to hike back into the mountains more than a mile to see any remaining remnants of the once elaborate display of wildflowers.
The Super Bloom, an unpredictable event, led to thousands of unexpected visitors clogging local roadways and causing gridlock throughout parts of the City, which created significant public safety and congestion concerns.
The City and its partners responded to this unplanned, natural phenomenon by putting public safety first. City, County, Transportation and Public Safety personnel worked together to create a unified approach to address the increasing public safety challenges related to the Super Bloom. This included increasing available resources and support, implementing additional traffic control measures, increased enforcement, expanded public notices, and the use of shuttle services on the weekends. The overall goal of these efforts was to ensure the safety of those visiting Walker Canyon while also reducing traffic impacts and safety concerns from residents.
This past weekend, the City scaled back its efforts and resources recognizing a steady decline in visitors. All visitors were still required to take a shuttle to view the bloom. However, many had to hike several miles to see more substantial poppy displays. Overall, this weekend drew much smaller crowds than the three weekends prior. A total of 4,658 visitors took the shuttle this past weekend, compared to 12,062 the weekend prior.
View official press release declaring the end of the Super Bloom.
PREVIOUS UPDATE FROM APRIL 4, 2019
The 2019 Super Bloom in Walker Canyon is a natural phenomenon drawing visitors from all over the world demonstrating the extreme beauty of Lake Elsinore. We would like to thank residents and visitors for their patience as we faced substantial challenges related to this international attraction.
The Super Bloom officially began displaying its beauty in late February 2019. As of today, April 4, the bloom is now well passed its peak and on its way out. The poppies are losing their petals and many plants have started to wither. Higher temperatures and reduced rainfall have contributed to the diminishing bloom. While poppies do still remain in Walker Canyon, they are not as dense and vibrant as they once were.
For the last month, City, County, Transportation and Public Safety personnel have been working together to create a unified approach to addressing the increasing challenges related to this year’s Super Bloom. This includes increasing available resources and support, implementing additional traffic control measures, increased enforcement, expanded public notices, and improved access plans that ensure the overall safety of those visiting Walker Canyon while also reducing the impact to residents. Visitor and resident cooperation is imperative for continuing the poppy attraction.
Due to the state of the Super Bloom, this weekend April 6th & 7th, the City expects a reduced number of visitors and has adjusted its plans accordingly including plans to reopen many roads for residents.
THE PLAN FOR THE WEEKEND OF APRIL 6 & 7, AND WEEKDAYS IS BELOW. PLEASE REVIEW THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY.
CRITICAL VISITOR INFORMATION:
We welcome you to experience the miles of poppies with the following advisories and request for cooperation.
Where the wild flowers grow, we advise you to be prepared, cautious, and conscientious of preserving the beauty:
- There are wild animals including many rattlesnakes
- Pathways may be steep and ungraded - Hike is considered difficult and may be challenging for those with health conditions.
- Restrooms are limited, ADA restroom available on Walker Canyon Road
- Food, shade and water is scarce, please be sure to bring water and snacks
- STAY ON THE PATH, do not walk/trample the flowers
- DO NOT PICK THE FLOWERS
- Be patient and courteous of personnel, residents, and other visitors
- Poppies are ONLY ACCESSIBLE BY SHUTTLE, there will be no parking available near the trail.
- Lake Street Interchange will CLOSED completely from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
(only accessible by shuttles)
- Visitors Only should use Nichols Road Exit to for Shuttle Parking, Resident Access Not Allowed Shuttle Parking will ONLY be allowed at the Outlets at Lake Elsinore, located at 17600 Collier Avenue.
- First Shuttle to Poppies to Depart at 6:30 a.m.
- Must Arrive to Outlets For Last Shuttle to Poppies by 4:30 p.m. Doors will close.
- Last Shuttle from Poppies to Outlets at 7:00 p.m.
- $10 Per Person Round Trip (Cash and Credit/Debit Accepted)
- Children 3 and younger are free (and must sit on adult’s lap)
- NO Dogs/Animals, except Service Animals. Find out more about service animals at https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm.
- Please be advised substantial excessive traffic throughout the region
- Please be advised shuttle wait times may exceed 2 hours
- Plans remain flexible and will be adjusted as needed to address public safety and congestion in this area.
- ADA Access: One to two shuttles will have ADA access. However, ADA visitors will be allowed to drive up to the trail by law enforcement. ADA parking is available on Walker Canyon Road. To drive to the trail, enter at Lake Street and Nichols Road. You must show your handicap placard for access beyond the road closure. Please note, however, that the trail is steep and difficult.
- Uber & Lyft will NOT BE GIVEN ACCESS or ALLOWED TO "DROP OFF." This will not be an acceptable way to get to or leave the Super Bloom. Shuttles only!
- Planned Impacts to Local Roads: Below is a list of expected closures and road openings for this coming weekend:
- Lake Street NB & SB will be open to Temescal Canyon Road – Resident Only Route to and from I-15 via Temescal Canyon Road and Indian Truck Trail (Lake St. On and Off Ramps will be Closed 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
- Nichols Rd EB & WB will be open to Collier Avenue – Resident Only Route
- El Toro Road will be fully open
- Nichols On/Off Ramps should be used by Visitors Only.
- Residents should be aware that the City still anticipates significant traffic in these areas and urges you to remain patient and avoid the area if you can.
WEEKDAY PROPOSED PLAN: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (View Plan)
- No Shuttle Service will be provided
- Parking Allowed at the following locations:
- Walker Canyon Road - Please move along this roadway and try to park toward the end. PLEASE do not try to park in front and block traffic.
- WYROC Dirt Lot (31000 Lake Street) - This dirt lot provides free parking along Lake Street. This will be open to parking from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Temescal Canyon Road - Parking will be allowed along this roadway during the week. However, please note there are no pedestrian pathways or sidewalks.
- Lake Street on/off ramps will be closed as needed based on traffic congestion
- Traffic control will be in place including flaggers, additional signage, and temporary stop signs
- Plans remain flexible and will be adjusted as needed to address public safety and congestion in this area.
- ADA parking is available on Walker Canyon Road. However, it is limited. Please note, however, that the trail is steep and difficult.
Thank you for your patience as we attempt to manage the poppy attraction. The poppies are another natural beautiful asset to our community and we are proud to have the opportunity to abruptly host the international community for this short time being. As you know we are an old historic community and our current infrastructure was not designed to handle this amount of tourist traffic in our community. We appreciate your consideration and patience as we manage the crowds. Please be advised that although we cannot reduce the impacts entirely, we are working to limit them as much as possible.
We are seeking your patience and cooperation in obeying all signage and personnel throughout the City. Without your cooperation, we will be required to close additional roads to achieve public safety concerns.
PRESS CONFERENCE: Thursday, March 21, 2019
RELATED INFORMATION & EXHIBITS:
City Traffic Plan, Road Closures and Message Boards -APRIL 6 & 7
City Resident Detour Plan -APRIL 6 & 7
City Traffic Plan, Road Closures and Message Boards - MARCH 30 & 31
City Resident Detour Plan - MARCH 30 & 31
Shuttle Services Information - WEEKENDS ONLY
Caltrans Message Board Plan (Regional) - WEEKENDS ONLY
Caltrans Message Board Plan (Local) - WEEKENDS ONLY
Riverside County Temescal Canyon Traffic Plan – Exhibit Page 1 - WEEKENDS ONLY
Riverside County Temescal Canyon Traffic Plan – Exhibit Page 2 - WEEKENDS ONLY
Poppy Update Monday March 18: The 2019 Super Bloom is a natural phenomenon unlike anything the City has ever experienced and demonstrates the extreme beauty of the City of Lake Elsinore. We would like to thank residents and visitors for their patience as we faced substantial challenges related to this international attraction.
Currently, the City is experiencing a high call volume. Walker Canyon is currently open. However, parking is very limited and no shuttles are available at this time.
Lake Street and Nichols Road are also now open. Anyone calling with complaints and/or suggestions related to the Super Bloom, please email us at PIO@Lake-Elsinore.org.
Thank you again to our residents and visitors for your patience as the City continues to find ways to address these challenges.
Super Bloom 2019 in Full Bloom - Original Post
The Super Bloom is in now in full bloom. Thousands of visitors are flocking to the City to take a look at this beautiful, unique opportunity.
As a result, Interstate 15, Lake Street and Nichols Road are extremely congested due to traffic, particularly on the weekends. The City is working closely with our local law enforcement teams to evaluate various traffic control options to try to ease congestion. Options include shuttling services, traffic control, additional enforcement, and managed parking. However, while the City is attempting to do what we can to address these impacts, we highly encourage residents to avoid this area, if possible, and to choose alternative routes for Lake Street and Nichols Road if you can.
The City does not have jurisdiction or control of the 15 freeway, but will reach out to CHP and Caltrans for any support they may be able to provide. In addition, the trail is under the purview of Riverside County. Not the City. Unfortunately, this is a public path that is open to anyone.The City will continue to do what we can and evaluate the successes and failures and will adjust our efforts accordingly.
Video from Reuters of Super Bloom Featuring Mayor Steve Manos:
Preserve While You Observe
The Super Bloom is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature with friends and family. However, help us preserve these beautiful hillsides for many years to come by staying on established trails and avoiding walking, laying or standing on the flowers. Further, please help keep the area clean for by throwing trash away properly into the designated receptacles in the parking area.
RivCoParks encourages visitors to recreate responsibly and enjoy outdoor activities such as wildflower viewing. Below are some additional tips for making your visit to wildflower locations pleasurable while respecting the spaces for others to enjoy after you:
- Stay on established trails and do not trample vegetation.
- Each open-space area is unique. Remain on trails, park legally in lots and on roadsides when safe.
- Many of these areas are protected for rare, threatened, and endangered plants and animals. Irresponsible access to these areas is not only perilous to the protected species, in many cases it is illegal and could result in citations or fines.
- Picking flowers is prohibited. Taking pictures from a safe distance, including selfies, is legal.
- Use provided trash cans or receptacles when available. If none are provided, take your trash with you when you leave to help keep the area safe and enjoyable for others.
- Research where dogs are permitted and be sure to keep your dog on a leash and in your control at all times. Do not leave dogs unattended, including in your vehicles as temperatures can become dangerous.
- Beware of rattlesnakes. The warming spring weather that brings forth wildflowers, also spurs activity in reptiles. Rattlesnakes (Riverside County's only potentially dangerous snake) are only aggressive when threatened. Be vigilant. If one is spotted, give it a wide birth. Rattlesnakes are an important member of the natural ecosystem and are protected from harm on County owned lands.
- Drones are prohibited except by special permit. Off-highway recreation vehicles (OHV) are prohibited.
- Remember to check weather conditions and plan for your visit accordingly, packing plenty of water and sunscreen.
- Areas that are highly impacted by visitors are subject to closure based upon site conditions. Please check the RivCoParks website for information prior to your visit.
The recommended viewing area is Walker Canyon Trail located off of Lake Street on Interstate 15 (I-15). Parking is available along Walker Canyon Road. For safety and compliance, a Lake Elsinore Sheriff Station Community Services Officer (CSO) will be on site Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. to assist with traffic. Parking will be available seven (7) days per week. All available parking is parallel parking only.
No parking is allowed along Lake Street and no stopping is allowed on the roadways at anytime. Turn Around Areas are established in certain areas on Walker Canyon Road (no parking in these areas). Parking is at your own risk.
Please use the map below to locate approved parking locations and the trail head access. Use caution while hiking and pay attention to posted signs.
ADA parking is available and trails are easily accessible.
For questions or concerns, please contact the City at 951-674-3124.