Lake Elsinore Poppy Flowers

Visitors+enjoy+the+views+of+the+poppy+fields+at+the+overwhelmingly+popular+wildflower+viewing+area+at+Walker+Canyon+in+Lake+Elsinore+on+Monday%2C+March+18%2C+2019.+The+weekend+traffic+and+associated+problems%2C+such+as+overflowing+portable+toilets%2C+bumper-to-bumper+traffic+and+cars+parking+on+the+15+Freeway%2C+forced+city+officials+to+cut+off+access+to+the+area+Sunday.+%28Photo+by+Jennifer+Cappuccio+Maher%2C+Inland+Valley+Daily+Bulletin%2FSCNG%29
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Lake Elsinore Poppy Flowers

Visitors enjoy the views of the poppy fields at the overwhelmingly popular wildflower viewing area at Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore on Monday, March 18, 2019. The weekend traffic and associated problems, such as overflowing portable toilets, bumper-to-bumper traffic and cars parking on the 15 Freeway, forced city officials to cut off access to the area Sunday. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Visitors enjoy the views of the poppy fields at the overwhelmingly popular wildflower viewing area at Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore on Monday, March 18, 2019. The weekend traffic and associated problems, such as overflowing portable toilets, bumper-to-bumper traffic and cars parking on the 15 Freeway, forced city officials to cut off access to the area Sunday. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Photo Credit: Staff Photographer

Visitors enjoy the views of the poppy fields at the overwhelmingly popular wildflower viewing area at Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore on Monday, March 18, 2019. The weekend traffic and associated problems, such as overflowing portable toilets, bumper-to-bumper traffic and cars parking on the 15 Freeway, forced city officials to cut off access to the area Sunday. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Photo Credit: Staff Photographer

Photo Credit: Staff Photographer

Visitors enjoy the views of the poppy fields at the overwhelmingly popular wildflower viewing area at Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore on Monday, March 18, 2019. The weekend traffic and associated problems, such as overflowing portable toilets, bumper-to-bumper traffic and cars parking on the 15 Freeway, forced city officials to cut off access to the area Sunday. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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After several weekends that turned chaotic when hundreds of thousands of visitors descended on Walker Canyon off the 15 Freeway, the city announced Thursday, March 21, that it would mount a massive effort to control crowds and address other problems. The city closed off access Sunday, March 17, before reopening it the next day. The plan, announced in a late Thursday morning news conference, includes that the shuttles being canceled amid the chaos of last weekend, will resume on weekends but will now cost $10 a person, up from $5. They will be the only way to reach the flower fields on Saturdays and Sundays. Past problems included drivers parking on the freeway, cars backed up for miles on the 15, overflowing toilets, a hit-and-run that struck a city employee and even a person and a dog bitten by rattlesnakes. Now, weekend shuttle service will run from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the last ride to the flowers leaving at 5 p.m. and the last shuttle back to the Outlets at Lake Elsinore at 7 p.m. Pets, other than service animals, won’t be allowed on the shuttles. Last week, the cost to ride was $5, before the service was canceled.