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Here's the best time to catch the Antelope Valley poppy reserve's superbloom

Brilliant hues of orange are expected to bloom this spring in Antelope Valley thanks to the generous rain season SoCal has experienced so far.

In anticipation of an influx of visitors for the springtime spectacular, Antelope Valley is preparing for the extra traffic and advising the public when it’s best to visit. With temperatures still relatively cold per Southern California standards, the flowers are still shying away from showing their beauty.

“Poppies really only open up when the weather’s warm,” said Callista Turner of the Antelope Valley California Reserve.

According to Turner, visitors should base their visit on the forecast. If the forecast is gloomy, cold or windy, it’s unlikely poppies will bloom since they’re partial to sunshine.

“You see, it’s going to be windy,” Turner said of the next few days. “It’s going to be in the low 50s; it’s probably best to skip that and go somewhere else.”

Another factor to consider is timing. Visitors may get the most out of their experience if they visit midmorning.

Typically, the bloom can begin as soon as mid-March and, at times, can last through early May.

“While the 2024 rainy season has commenced later than usual, officials anticipate the poppy bloom may not match the grandeur of 2019,” the city warned in a statement.

With that in mind, Turner said climate change is making it difficult to say exactly how plentiful the poppies will be.

“It’s altering the date we had,” she said. “We don’t know because we can’t pattern it anymore.”

The City of Lake Elsinore said as part of its plan to prepare for extra visitors in the coming weeks, it will increase its traffic management, parking enforcement and public awareness. It added shuttle services will be on standby for weekend use as necessary.

Until further notice, the Walker Canyon Trail parking entrance and Lake Street access will be closed.

Fans of the poppy flower can keep up with the fields’ bloom through a live cam and Lake Elsinore’s updates on its website or the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve’s Facebook page. You can also call the Poppy Reserve Wildflower Hotline at 661-724-1180 for updates.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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