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Poppy Update: Walker Canyon Reopened, Poppies Gone

City Efforts to Prepare for a Possible Wildflower Bloom

Post Date:04/15/2020


NOTE: this information will NOT be updated unless something changes in terms of the status of the trail or the bloom. 

May 13, 2020: Poppies Have Come and Gone, Walker Canyon Reopens - LAST UPDATE FOR 2020

Last week, the City was notified by Riverside County Parks and the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA) that the poppies are now gone. Most are dead and it is difficult to spot any of them in Walker Canyon. Now, the area is covered with mustard plants. RCA shared that the flowering short-pod mustard has a small yellow flower; a species that is a non-native weed to us but native to parts of Asia, Europe, and North Africa. This year's bloom was very minor in comparison to 2019 and the Poppy Season for Walker Canyon is now over. 

The City, Riverside County Parks and RCA, will reopen Walker Canyon Road and Trail on Thursday, May 14. Hikers are urged to take come prepared. Temperatures are high and there is very little shade along this hiking trail. 

Each year, the City will continue to work with our regional agencies to ensure we are best prepared for a potential wildflower bloom in this area. 

May 5 - 2May 5May 5 - 3
May 5 - 4May 5 - 5May 5 - 6

April 24, 2020: Live Video Feed of Walker Canyon Now Available 

In response to interest in the state of the poppy bloom in Walker Canyon and as a result of the Trail and Road being closed, the City placed a live camera feed on site for remote viewing of the poppies.  However, this year's bloom was minor and there were very little poppies along Walker Canyon Trail, especially in comparison to the 2019 Super Bloom. With temperatures on the rise, the bloom quickly ended and the live camera was removed on May 12, 2020.  

April 23, 2020: Walker Canyon Video PSA - Trail & Road Remain Closed

Despite Riverside County's latest amended Public Health Orders that allow for more outdoor recreation, Walker Canyon Road and Trail remain closed. Poppy viewing and visiting is still prohibited. Watch this for more information about Walker Canyon and this year’s poppy bloom from Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Magee.

View the Video PSA below:


April 15, 2020: Walker Canyon Road and Trail are closed.

 Following this year's late rains in Lake Elsinore, the City has started to see more poppies blooming in Walker Canyon. While the poppies are blooming, it is uncertain whether we will see a substantial bloom like last year and a super bloom remains unlikely. 

In accordance with Riverside County's  Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health orders, Walker Canyon Trail is CLOSED

At this time, all viewing and visits to Walker Canyon are prohibited. The City has taken the following actions to discourage and prevent visitors to the area: 
  1. Walker Canyon Road is Closed to all Public Access and Parking 
  2. No Parking is Allowed along Lake Street and Temescal Canyon Road
  3. Regular Patrols and Enforcement of No Parking will be Deployed Regularly, Citations will be Issued for Any Violations
  4. The City is Working on Providing a Live Video Feed to Allowed Individuals to View the Poppies from Home 
  5. The City will be Regularly Monitoring the Area and Will Take Additional Actions as Needed to Ensure Compliance

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March 25, 2020: Due to COVID-19 and required social distancing measures, Walker Canyon Trail is now closed. Despite recent rainfall, a significant bloom in this area remains extremely unlikely. 

March 9, 2020: On Friday, March 6, Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District reported that areas with poppies are on their way out now and are pretty much done blooming at this time. They stated that a lot of the poppies have dropped their petals and turned red. A couple of wetter areas look to be peaking now. Even if the upcoming rains produce good precipitation and bring the exiting plants back to life, RCA claimed there would not nearly be as many plants as last year. 

Photos as of Thursday, March 5, 2020: 






Feb. 24, 2020: On Tuesday, Feb. 11th the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA) reported that while there were sparse patches of poppies in the Walker Canyon area, it was likely the bloom was already peaking. RCA stated that most plants are either drying out or have only a few small flowers. 

Photos as of Feb. 24: 




Feb. 4, 2020: We are starting to see some poppies blooming in this area. According to Riverside County, poppies are germinating in the Walker Canyon area. However, without substantially more rain in the next couple of months, botanists do not currently believe it will be a super bloom similar to what was experienced last year. The City and County continue to monitor the area regularly. 





Jan. 28, 2020: There are no visible wildflowers along Walker Canyon Trail. Walker Canyon Trial is a public trail and the trail remains open. 


Latest News on Super Blooms in Southern California: 

"With fewer flowers, Lake Elsinore hills more brown than orange," The Press-Enterprise, March 7, 2020 

"Eight places to see wildflowers in Southern California," Los Angeles Times, February 29, 2020 

"Dry Winter May Mean No Repeat of Super Bloom Chaos," Associated Press/KTLA, February 14, 2020

"Lake Elsinore poppy superbloom may not happen in 2020,"The Press-Enterprise, February 14, 2020

"Will there be a dazzling 'super bloom' of flowers in California this year?"USA TODAY, February 3, 2020

 "Will Southern California see a wildflower superbloom in 2020."Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2020

"Some SoCal Locales Say Conditions Are Lining up for Another Wildflower Superbloom,", KTLA, January 24, 2020 

The 2019 Super Bloom 

Last year, the hillsides east of Interstate 15 in Lake Elsinore exploded with color in late February as a Super Bloom covered more than 1,600 acres of hillsides in and near the City. The "Super Bloom" attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and lasted through early April 2019. 

However, this was a unique occurrence in the City. While the area has had beautiful wildflower blooms in the past, they have not been as expansive. In late 2018 and early 2019, the City of Lake Elsinore had as much as 20 inches of rain. This coupled with cooler temperatures and elevated wind led to the significant 2019 Super Bloom. 

The City is in the midst of preparing for the potential of another bloom in the Walker Canyon area this year. But, the potential and the size of a bloom is unpredictable. At this time, unknown whether this area will have a wildflower bloom this year. The City is working with our partners to closely monitor for a bloom and will update our website as, and if, anything changes.  

Stay tuned for more information.

Read more about the 2019 Super Bloom. 



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