This amazing multi-colored panorama is caused by the poppy flowers bloom. In 2019 California experienced a super bloom due to the heavy rains.
You can witness this phenomenon in many places in the state like Big Sur, Antelope Valley, Merced Valley and Lake Elsinore.
We recently visited the super bloom at Walker Canyon, which lies in between the Cities of Corona and Lake Elsinore.
Apparently, everyone in Southern California decided to visit at the same time. The freeways were congested and the hills were overflowing with revelers. Parking was a major challenge, but once we arrived, we really enjoyed our time on the trail and among the flowers.
Tip: Most people followed the official directions and turned north on Lake Street heading to Walker Canyon road (towards the hills). This is a big mistake. You will end up stuck in traffic for a very long time. Instead, go south away from the trailhead and find parking in that direction. Much easier to get in and out.
Once you reach the trailhead it is an easy climb on packed dirt for a round trip of 3.5 miles. You don’t really need to go the full length of the hike to enjoy the scenery. Everywhere you look you can admire the wildflowers – and gaze at the droves of people doing the same thing.
You actually don’t have to go on this trail to get close to the poppies. Just find any accessible trail into the surrounding hills – or follow other hikers.
Some people worry about following those unofficial trails because some flowers might get trampled. Although this is true, please remember that this is a seasonal bloom. All the plants will die down later in the spring and get reborn next year.
After we enjoyed the main trail, we dropped down to a creek, crossed it and climbed onto a more challenging trail with a better view.
Tip: If you go early you might notice that the flower bulbs are closed. Later in the day with will open up and transform into a whole different view.
If you stick to the main trail, you will notice that the first quarter mile is a little steep but it will even out later. The crowds will also thin out the further you go. If you want a longer hike, take a fork to the right, which loops back into Walker Canyon Rd for a total of 5 miles.