Lake Elsinore Poppy ‘Super Bloom’: Directions, Where to Park, Pictures and Secret Trail

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Lake Elsinore Poppy Super Bloom
Walker Canyon Lake Elsinore Poppy Parking

 

See Updated Article Here

 

3/18 Update: 

The City of Lake Elsinore has re-opened Walker Canyon Trail.

Visitors will now be able to access the poppy fields at Walker Canyon again as the trail has been re-opened for public viewing. After the city struggled to keep up with the flow of poppy viewers over the weekend, the decision was made to close the trail to put a halt to the crippling traffic. However, as of this morning, it has now been re-opened.

Walker Canyon is still extremely busy so if you were looking to avoid some of the traffic and crowds, you can still see the poppies by visiting the secret trail just to the west of the Walker Canyon viewing area. Something else to keep in mind is that there was a report of a rattlesnake bite over the weekend. It is recommended to stay on the main trails but, whether you choose to venture off to some of the side trails or not, while the weather is warmer, it’s important to keep an eye on where you’re walking.

See additional info about the secret trail below.

 

3/17 Update: 

The City of Lake Elsinore has closed access to Walker Canyon until further notice.

 

3/16 Update: 

If you’re looking to take a shuttle to Walker Canyon to avoid the parking nightmare, this weekend, the City of Lake Elsinore has hired 4 shuttles that will be running from 8-7 with the last shuttle leaving at 7. Shuttles will be transporting up to 25 passengers each between the Outlets at Lake Elsinore and Walker Canyon (the main poppy-viewing trail).

 

Lake Street & Nichols Road will be closed while the shuttles are running so we still recommend exiting Indian Truck Trail, parking on the side of Concordia Ranch Road and going up the “secret trail” mentioned at the bottom of this article. Scroll down for maps and additional info. If last weekend is any indication of what this weekend will bring, this will save you time and heartache.

 

Important Shuttle Information:

Update: Shuttles are not running during the week.

Shuttles will be going between the Outlets at Lake Elsinore and Walker Canyon (click here for Outlets at Lake Elsinore location). Shuttles will be running Saturday & Sunday 8-7. While pets are allowed on the trail, no pets will be allowed on the shuttles. Cost if $5 per passenger. The roads between the Outlets and Walker Canyon will be shut down so it’s safe to assume that it will be a quick trip.

Important Walker Canyon Information:

Pets are allowed on-leash. The first 1/4 mile or so is a relatively steep incline so proper walking attire is recommended. The full hike is roughly 3.5 miles but the majority of folks will be in the first half mile. Elevation gain is 616 feet, mostly in the beginning. It’s an out & back trail. As it will be warmer out, you want to watch for rattlesnakes, especially if you venture off trail.

3/14 Original Post:

Lake Elsinore is in the news again. After the most recent rain, the rare and gorgeous Poppy Super Bloom over Lake Elsinore is even more beautiful than it was just a few weeks ago. If you have not yet had the chance to go up and see it, it is highly recommended that you do.

With the weather in Lake Elsinore as beautiful as it is, the current butterfly migration and the limited time this super bloom will be active, there’s no better time.

Scroll down for directions, parking information, pictures & a bonus tip to avoid the crowds and most of the traffic.

 

Lake Elsinore Poppy Super Bloom

Things to Keep in Mind:

Parking is going to be tough. Most folks have been parking along Walker Canyon Road but you may have a better option finding parking and avoiding traffic if you put “Lake Street & Temescal Canyon Road” into your Google Maps or Waze app. There is parking on the side of the road and, if last weekend is any indication, they may open up an empty lot between the freeway exit and this location.

There is an alternate freeway exit that should save you some time. As the Lake Street exit has been backed up, you may want to consider exiting a few miles north at Indian Truck Trail. You can take Temescal Canyon Road to Lake Street.

There are going to be a lot of people during the week and even more on Saturday and Sunday. Be prepared for a crowd. Tip: hike beyond the crowd – most of the folks are up there taking pictures within the first 1/4 mile of the trail. That also happens to be the toughest part of the trail. It’s relatively flat after that. It’s recommended that you hike beyond the crowd where the opportunity for pictures will be better. The full trail is under 2 miles each way with some of the most breathtaking views near the summit.

Gallery of pictures from the full hike.

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Directions to Walker Canyon Super Bloom

San Diego County to Walker Canyon (Google Maps):

Make your way over to the 15 N. Take the 15 N until you reach Lake Street. Exit on Lake Street and Make a right. You can park along Walker Canyon Road. Our recommendation is to make a left off the freeway and either park on Lake Street or in the lot on the left (may or may not be open).

Los Angeles County to Walker Canyon (Google Maps):

Make your way south to the 91 E. Take the 91 E to the 15 S. Take the 15 S to Lake Street. Parking will be tough if you go left towards the trailhead, although there may be parking on Walker Canyon Road. We recommend going right off the freeway and either parking along Lake Street or utilizing the lot on the left (may or may not be open).

North Orange County (north of Mission Viejo) to Walker Canyon (Google Maps):

Take the 55 N or 241 N, merge on to the 91 E, merge on to the 15 S and exit Lake Street. Make a left at Lake Street and follow it until the end. You can go right on Walker Canyon Rd. and park on the side of the road. Parking will be tough if you go left towards the trailhead although there may be parking further up on Walker Canyon Road. We recommend going right off the freeway and either parking along Lake Street or utilizing the lot on the left (may or may not be open).

South Orange County (south of Mission Viejo) to Walker Canyon (Google Maps):

Take the 5 N or 5 S to the CA-74 E / Ortega Highway. Follow CA-74 E to Grand Ave in Lake Elsinore. Grand Ave becomes Lake Street. Follow it until it ends at Walker Canyon Trailhead. You can go right on Walker Canyon Rd. and park on the side of the road. Our recommendation is to park along Lake Street or in the lot on the right, just before you go under the freeway.

The Secret Trail

For those of you that have read this far, we have a tip for you that will help you save time.

There is a side trail just to the north northwest of the Walker Canyon Trailhead that few people know about. It can’t be reached by exiting Lake Street where the majority of the traffic will be. This trail is a bit steeper but just as beautiful as the Walker Canyon Trailhead and you can avoid sitting in a ton of traffic. While there may be some people, you’ll be able to avoid the larger crowd.

Directions: The start of the trail is located just before 14926 Concordia Ranch Rd, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530. You can find it on Google Maps or Waze.

Here’s is a picture of what the secret trail trailhead looks like from the road.

The Secret Poppy Trail
The Secret Alternative Poppy Trail in Lake Elsinore, located just before 14926 Concordia Ranch Rd, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530.

 

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