The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is opening its seasonal Wildflower Trail at Diamond Valley Lake on Wednesday, Feb. 15, offering visitors spectacular views of the district’s 4.5 mile-long lake and spring wildflower bloom.
By News Desk
The Wildflower Trail will be open Wednesdays through Sundays at the lake in Hemet in southwestern Riverside County. After December and January’s heavy storms, Metropolitan expects a larger bloom of wildflowers than in the last few years, which were the driest in the state’s history. Though flowers are just beginning to bloom, warmer weather over the next few weeks should usher in heartier bouquet. Among the flowers typically found at Diamond Valley Lake are California poppies, deep blue arroyo lupines, purple Canterbury bells, yellow rancher’s fiddleneck, white popcorn flowers and pink red maids.
The trail is part of the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve, which Metropolitan helped create in 1992, covering 9,000 acres surrounding Diamond Valley Lake and connecting to Lake Skinner. Through long-standing partnerships and commitments, Metropolitan has played an ongoing role in establishing and managing four large-scale multi-species reserves spanning more than 30,000 acres across Southern California as it works to ensure water reliability and environmental sustainability for the region.
The trail’s 1.3-mile loop, accessible from the Diamond Valley Lake Marina’s parking lot, with entry off Domenigoni and Searl parkways in Hemet, is rated as an easy-to-moderate hike with some rugged terrain. Hours are 6:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (no entry after 3:30 p.m.). The trails and marina are closed Mondays and Tuesdays. In addition to hiking, the lake offers opportunities for boating, fishing and bike riding.
The Southland’s largest drinking water reservoir, Diamond Valley Lake was dedicated in 2000, nearly doubling the region’s surface water storage capacity to help safeguard Southern California from drought and emergencies. It stores 264 billion gallons of water.
Rules and parking
Visitors must refrain from picking the wildflowers and stay on trails to protect the area’s wildlife. Visitors also should be watchful of rattlesnakes, a particular risk in the area. Dogs are not permitted on the premises. A reserve interpreter will be available on the trail on Saturdays from 9:00 am to noon to discuss topics that include the types of wildflowers, birding and the area’s geography.
Parking is $11 ($5 for those 62 years and older, military members and veterans), and the trail fee is $4 per person. Pontoon boat rental and fishing information is available at dvmarina.com.
> Southern Californians who want to create wildflower gardens at their own homes are encouraged to consider planting native or California Friendly® gardens. Information on these plants and how to receive a rebate for replacing thirsty grass with this more sustainable landscaping is available at bewaterwise.com.
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