Spectacular Wildflower Super Bloom Expected to Return to Diamond Valley Lake

Popular wildflower trail opens to public this Saturday, March 2


HEMET, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Following record-breaking rains this winter, experts are predicting the
return of an impressive wildflower super bloom at Diamond Valley Lake in
southwest Riverside County.

Beginning this Saturday, March 2, the lake’s seasonal wildflower trail
will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, offering impressive views of
hillsides covered in the vibrant oranges, blues, purples and reds of the
region’s native wildflowers. The flowers are expected to reach peak
bloom by mid-March and last through April at the Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California’s 4.5 mile-long lake near Hemet.

“We built Diamond Valley Lake two decades ago to nearly double our
region’s surface water storage capacity and help safeguard Southern
California’s water supply in dry years,” Metropolitan General Manager
Jeffrey Kightlinger said. “But an added benefit has been the
preservation of a natural habitat area that serves as a wonderful
resource for the community.”

In 2017, Diamond Valley Lake’s super bloom attracted thousands of
visitors. The public this year can again expect to see orange California
poppies, deep blue arroyo lupines, purple canterbury bells, yellow
rancher’s fiddleneck, white popcorn flowers, and pink red maids, among
other wildflowers
.

“We’re already starting to see super blooms happening in some Southern
California areas,” said wildlife biologist Bill Wagner. “Once
temperatures warm up a bit, the wildflowers at Diamond Valley Lake
should be a really magnificent sight.”

The wildflower trail is part of the Southwestern Riverside County
Multi-Species Reserve, which was created by Metropolitan in 1992. The
reserve covers 9,000 acres surrounding Diamond Valley Lake and connects
to Lake Skinner.

It is home to up to 16 sensitive bird, animal and plant species, as well
as eight types of habitat, including Riversidean sage scrub, coast live
oak woodland and southern willow scrub. Notable species include the
Stephens’ kangaroo rat, the Bell’s sage sparrow and the San Diego horned
lizard.

The wildflower trail is a 1.3-mile loop accessible from the marina’s
parking lot, with entry off of Domenigoni and Searl parkways in Hemet.
It is rated as an easy-to-moderate hike with some rugged terrain.

In addition to the seasonal wildflower trail, two other trails are open
to the public year-round and also afford good views of the blooming
flowers – the 21.8-mile Lakeview hiking and bicycling trail that circles
the 4,500-surface-acre lake and the 5.9-mile North Hills trail for
equestrians and hikers.

Hours for the trails are 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (no entry after 3:30 p.m.)
until daylight savings time begins March 10. After that, the hours are 7
a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (no entry after 4:30 p.m.). The trails and marina are
closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

The best time to see the poppies in bloom is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., as
they need full sun.

Visitors are asked to refrain from picking the wildflowers and not to
stray from the trails to protect the area’s wildlife and avoid
rattlesnakes. Parking is $10 and there is a $3-per-person trail fee that
includes a map of the wildflowers and wildflower guide. Another viewing
option is to rent one of the lake’s bass or pontoon boats, bring fishing
poles and lunch, and enjoy the 360-degree views from the lake itself.
Boat rental and fishing information is available at dvlake.com.

Visitors can learn more about Diamond Valley Lake and the region’s water
resources at the lake’s Visitor
Center
, which is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It is located on Searl Parkway near the Domenigoni Parkway entrance.
Next door at the Western Science Center, visitors can also view
archaeological artifacts and Ice Age fossils that were unearthed during
the lake’s construction. The Western Science Center is open Tuesday
through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Information on California native plants and water-saving tips are at bewaterwise.com.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a
state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail
suppliers, provide water for nearly 19 million people in six counties.
The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern
California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to
develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other
resource-management programs.

Note to editors: Photos of 2017’s wildflower super bloom at Diamond
Valley Lake attached.

Contacts

Maritza Fairfield, (213) 217-6853; (909) 816-7722, mobile
Rebecca
Kimitch, (213) 217-6450; (202) 821-5253, mobile

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