Crowds force California city to close super bloom viewing

A small city in Southern California has been forced to close its public viewing of a super bloom of poppies after being overrun by tens of thousands of flower-crazed tourists trying to get the best Instagram photos. 

Authorities in the city of Lake Elsinore closed access to Walker Canyon on Sunday after ‘Disneyland size crowds’ flocked to the area and caused huge traffic jams on nearby highways.

The super bloom of wild flowers, which is a result of extremely heavy winter rainfall, has resulted in the hillside being completely covered in bright orange poppies over the last two weeks. 

Tens of thousands of tourists have been spotted posing and lying among the scores of flowers for their photos. 

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Officials in Lake Elsinore in Southern California were forced to close its public viewing of a super bloom of poppies on Sunday after being overrun by tens of thousands of flower-crazed tourists

Officials in Lake Elsinore in Southern California were forced to close its public viewing of a super bloom of poppies on Sunday after being overrun by tens of thousands of flower-crazed tourists

Officials in Lake Elsinore in Southern California were forced to close its public viewing of a super bloom of poppies on Sunday after being overrun by tens of thousands of flower-crazed tourists

Tens of thousands of tourists were spotted posing for pictures among the scores of flowers following the super bloom of poppies

Tens of thousands of tourists were spotted posing for pictures among the scores of flowers following the super bloom of poppies

Tens of thousands of tourists were spotted posing for pictures among the scores of flowers following the super bloom of poppies

The color of the poppies is so vivid it can be seen from mountain tops hundreds of feet above. 

A super bloom occurs when warm temperatures follow stretches of winter rain and the explosion of flowers exceeds average spring-time blooms. 

The super bloom was originally met with excitement in the community of 66,000, which is about a 90-minutes drive from both Los Angeles and San Diego. 

But problems quickly arose this weekend, including traffic and people leaving trails and trampling the flowers.

The hashtags #poppyshutdown and #poppyapocalypse began spreading on Twitter. 

The city initially tweeted that roads were jammed, traffic on Interstate 15 had stopped moving and law enforcement assistance was requested from neighboring jurisdictions to deal with the crush. 

But the city then shut down access saying the weekend had become unbearable and they were not able to sustain ‘Disneyland size crowds’. 

The super bloom, which was the result of extremely heavy winter rainfall, saw the Lake Elsinore hillside completely covered in bright orange poppies. Thousands of tourists flocked to the area to take photos among the blooms

The super bloom, which was the result of extremely heavy winter rainfall, saw the Lake Elsinore hillside completely covered in bright orange poppies. Thousands of tourists flocked to the area to take photos among the blooms

The super bloom, which was the result of extremely heavy winter rainfall, saw the Lake Elsinore hillside completely covered in bright orange poppies. Thousands of tourists flocked to the area to take photos among the blooms

Authorities in the city of Lake Elsinore closed access to Walker Canyon on Sunday after 'Disneyland size crowds' flocked to the area and caused huge traffic jams on nearby highways

Authorities in the city of Lake Elsinore closed access to Walker Canyon on Sunday after 'Disneyland size crowds' flocked to the area and caused huge traffic jams on nearby highways

Authorities in the city of Lake Elsinore closed access to Walker Canyon on Sunday after ‘Disneyland size crowds’ flocked to the area and caused huge traffic jams on nearby highways

Residents of the small town experienced difficulty getting to and from their homes at the weekend due to widespread road closures and traffic congestion caused by visitors

Residents of the small town experienced difficulty getting to and from their homes at the weekend due to widespread road closures and traffic congestion caused by visitors

Residents of the small town experienced difficulty getting to and from their homes at the weekend due to widespread road closures and traffic congestion caused by visitors

The city said they started experiencing problems, including people leaving the designated trails to take pictures

The city said they started experiencing problems, including people leaving the designated trails to take pictures

The city said they started experiencing problems, including people leaving the designated trails to take pictures

A couple is pictured posing among the flowers as thousands of people flocked to the area for a glimpse of the super bloom

A couple is pictured posing among the flowers as thousands of people flocked to the area for a glimpse of the super bloom

A couple is pictured posing among the flowers as thousands of people flocked to the area for a glimpse of the super bloom

Instagram was filled with super bloom photos of people posing among the flowers

Instagram was filled with super bloom photos of people posing among the flowers

Instagram was filled with super bloom photos of people posing among the flowers

One of the main concerns from city officials was people leaving the trails and trampling the wild flowers

One of the main concerns from city officials was people leaving the trails and trampling the wild flowers

One of the main concerns from city officials was people leaving the trails and trampling the wild flowers

One of the main concerns from city officials was people leaving the trails and trampling the wild flowers

One of the main concerns from city officials was people leaving the trails and trampling the wild flowers

The super bloom is the result of extremely heavy winter rainfall that saw the hillside covered in bright orange poppies

The super bloom is the result of extremely heavy winter rainfall that saw the hillside covered in bright orange poppies

The super bloom is the result of extremely heavy winter rainfall that saw the hillside covered in bright orange poppies

The super bloom is an explosion of wild flowers that exceeds normal spring blooms

The super bloom is an explosion of wild flowers that exceeds normal spring blooms

The super bloom is an explosion of wild flowers that exceeds normal spring blooms

Tourists have been flocking to the area for several weeks to see the super bloom but authorities were forced to shut off access on Sunday

Tourists have been flocking to the area for several weeks to see the super bloom but authorities were forced to shut off access on Sunday

Tourists have been flocking to the area for several weeks to see the super bloom but authorities were forced to shut off access on Sunday

There was an estimated 50,000 visitors on Saturday alone

There was an estimated 50,000 visitors on Saturday alone

People started lining up at 5.30am to catch a glimpse of the flowers

People started lining up at 5.30am to catch a glimpse of the flowers

There was an estimated 50,000 visitors on Saturday alone and people started lining up at 5.30am to catch a glimpse of the flowers

There was an estimated 50,000 visitors on Saturday alone and people started lining up at 5.30am to catch a glimpse of the flowers.  

‘The situation has escalated beyond our available resources. No additional shuttles or visitors will be allowed into Walker Canyon. This weekend has been unbearable Lake Elsinore,’ city officials said on Facebook.  

‘We know it has been miserable and has caused unnecessary hardships for our entire community.’ 

Residents of the small town experienced difficulty getting to and from their homes due to widespread road closures.  

Lake Elsinore Mayor Steve Manos said in the chaos over the weekend, one city employee was hit by a car and a visitor suffered a snake bite. 

The city had initially put measures in place, including free shuttle buses, to try and ease the congestion. 

Officials posted a photo of a flyer on Sunday that read: ‘No more shuttles or Entrance’ and ‘No Viewing or Visiting.’ 

It also featured hashtags including: ‘#PoppyNightmare’ and ‘#IsItOver.’ 

The super bloom was originally met with excitement in the community of 66,000 but problems quickly arose this weekend, including traffic and people leaving trails and trampling the flowers

The super bloom was originally met with excitement in the community of 66,000 but problems quickly arose this weekend, including traffic and people leaving trails and trampling the flowers

The super bloom was originally met with excitement in the community of 66,000 but problems quickly arose this weekend, including traffic and people leaving trails and trampling the flowers

Tens of thousands of tourists have been spotted posing for pictures among the scores of flowers over the last month

Tens of thousands of tourists have been spotted posing for pictures among the scores of flowers over the last month

Tens of thousands of tourists have been spotted posing for pictures among the scores of flowers over the last month

Official said on Sunday that they had been experiencing issues with people leaving trails and trampling the flowers

Official said on Sunday that they had been experiencing issues with people leaving trails and trampling the flowers

Official said on Sunday that they had been experiencing issues with people leaving trails and trampling the flowers

Poppy fields are blooming on the slopes of Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore after heavy rains in California boosted the growth of wild desert flowers

Poppy fields are blooming on the slopes of Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore after heavy rains in California boosted the growth of wild desert flowers

Poppy fields are blooming on the slopes of Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore after heavy rains in California boosted the growth of wild desert flowers

The super bloom was brought about by heavy rains in California that boosted the growth of wild desert flowers

The super bloom was brought about by heavy rains in California that boosted the growth of wild desert flowers

The super bloom was brought about by heavy rains in California that boosted the growth of wild desert flowers

A man photographs a woman painting a super bloom of wild poppies blanketing the hills of Walker Canyon

A man photographs a woman painting a super bloom of wild poppies blanketing the hills of Walker Canyon

A man photographs a woman painting a super bloom of wild poppies blanketing the hills of Walker Canyon

A woman and a child were spotted sitting among the poppies earlier this month when the super bloom first occurred

A woman and a child were spotted sitting among the poppies earlier this month when the super bloom first occurred

A woman and a child were spotted sitting among the poppies earlier this month when the super bloom first occurred 

Tens of thousands of tourists have been spotted posing for pictures among the scores of flowers since the super bloom first occurred

Tens of thousands of tourists have been spotted posing for pictures among the scores of flowers since the super bloom first occurred

Tens of thousands of tourists have been spotted posing for pictures among the scores of flowers since the super bloom first occurred

A woman takes in the view of a super bloom of wild poppies blanketing the hills of Walker Canyon

A woman takes in the view of a super bloom of wild poppies blanketing the hills of Walker Canyon

A woman takes in the view of a super bloom of wild poppies blanketing the hills of Walker Canyon

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