LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KGTV) - The beautiful wildflower super bloom in Southern California is being met with some ugly behavior.
A sea of bright orange poppies carpets the hills along Interstate 15 in Lake Elsinore. Word spread when the bloom erupted; now the area is a huge draw for visitors.
"Came out here to see the beauty in nature, the poppies, they only come every few years, so you have to enjoy it,” said Lake Elsinore resident Jessica Rodriguez. She said she’s never seen so many people visit.
To see the poppies, visitors must find a spot in a mile-long stretch of parked cars. Others opt to take photos from the freeway, which is illegal.
"They want that perfect picture, they can get pretty ones but it’s at the expense of the habitat,” said Josh Reinig, MSHCP Reserve Manager.
The parks department posted signs telling people not to step on flowers, and they created barriers to protect certain areas.
"You're kind of seeing them a lot more trampled stepped on, people just sitting on them,” Reining said.
Picking just one flower could mean 30 fewer flowers grow in the future.
"Main thing; stay on trail, I understand people want to get the beautiful selfie in the flowers but if everyone did that, we wouldn't have these poppies."