LAKE ELSINORE CBSLA) — The recent and steady rain we have had brought a lot of mud, ugly debris, mudslides, fallen backyards and damage to the Southland.
But one beautiful thing has emerged — millions of florescent orange California poppies.
And the hillsides of Walker Canyon are the prime beneficiary. Lake Elsinore has probably never looked so orange.
KCAL9’s Nicole Comstock reports that hiking Walker Canyon is a bit of a trek but worth the picture perfect view.
“He’s been here before but I’ve never been. I always see it like when I’m driving and I think it’s so pretty, but I never come up here,” says Aline Rodriguez of Corona.
“This is so — breathtaking. there’s the word,” Marianne Dilworth of Encinitas.
The poppies are drawing a lot of visitors and creating a lot of traffic.
This is especially true of the weekend, Comstock reports, when upwards of 1,000 people a day stop to see the super-bloom. Traffic on the 15 Freeway can back up for 10-20 miles.
“Kinda like Disneyland out here,” laughs Paul Brion.
Although Mother Nature doesn’t charge admission to stop for the poppies — people come to snap a picture of family, their significant other or the dog.
“He would love to just run wild,” Brion says of his pooch.
Although you can see the blooms from the road, the CHP warns drivers it’s illegal to pull over on the shoulder to get out to take pictures.
It’s something they are used to — the last super bloom was in 2017.
This time around, they have officers on site. The CHP is encouraging visitors to take the Lake Street exit and wait their turn.
Optimum time to go? Or better, not to go?
“Especially during the day, probably early morning, it’s gonna be busy,” says Isaac Sierra of Corona.
“It’s pretty cool like I didn’t realize how many poppies are actually over here,” Rodriguez said.