Thousands of visitors rushed to the colorful hillsides in Lake Elsinore this weekend.
The overwhelming amount of tourists made the trip to see the super bloom of California golden poppies, but the “Disneyland size crowds” led the city of about 66,000 people to retreat by shutting down access to Walker Canyon. City officials said Lake Elsinore could not sustain the influx of people and the circumstances escalated past their available resources, calling the situation a “poppy nightmare” and “poppy apocalypse.”
Some visitors ignored official signs and trekked past designated areas, while others plucked poppies from the hillsides.
The city is evaluating options to address the inundation of visitors.
Steve Manos, mayor of Lake Elsinore