There are certain wildflower “hot spots” that attract an absolutely insane amount of people – while nearby spots “at the side of the road” offer similar but much more peaceful (and solitary) sights of wildflowers. One such example is the “Lake Elsinore Poppy Preserve” as it has been dubbed somewhat tongue-in-cheek here and there.
It’s not a preserve, of course. The place is called “Walker Canyon” at the Lake Street exit of I-15, a little bit north of Lake Elsinore proper. The hillsides are bursting with flowers at the moment, and they’re all too easily visible right from the freeway, which attracts plenty of people. It was a little bit much for us so we kept our eyes open a little bit and found a wonderful area along Grape Street, which parallels I-15.
We saw poppies (obviously), Chia, Tidytips, Wild Hyacinth, Mission Bells, Popcorn Flowers, Phacelia, and many others I couldn’t identify. Unfortunately, we also saw some illegal dumping. The poppies made even that look pretty.
In the end, it’s somewhat similar to Anza Borrego right now: flowers are almost everywhere, but most visitors focus their attention on a few hot-spots that are totally overrun and get hopelessly trampled as a result – especially on the weekends. Avoiding the hot-spots is just as rewarding, and much nicer…