Diamond Valley Lake
Photo: Diamond Valley Lake - Diamond Valley Marina

Ever since I moved to California in 1977, I've wanted to experience a wildflower "super bloom".

by John Bagnasco

I’m not the type of person that does things spur of the moment, but last Saturday, the sun came out and my wife convinced me to take a drive to the Diamond Lake wildflower trail near Hemet CA.

Without exaggeration, the experience was breathtaking! Flowers were in full blossom and the show should continue at its peak for the next two weeks. The peak times to view wildflowers in bloom is during the month of April. Lines to get into the park are extremely long on the weekend, so consider an early morning arrival or visit on a weekday if possible. There is a fee to park at Diamond Valley Lake and Marina, and the trails are only open to the public during certain hours and days of the week. Get more information here.

This scenic trail takes you on a tour of the north hills area of the lake. Waves of orange, purple, and yellow continue to paint the hillsides across Southern California thanks to the extended rainy season. 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 lake is a man-made reservoir and recreation area. For easy viewing, take the Wildflower Trail, which is an easy 2.1-mile loop trail, to catch glimpses of poppies, lupines, Canterbury bells, and other colorful blooms. If you’re up for more of a challenge, try the Lake View Trail by foot or by bike (E-bike rentals are available starting at $35). The 22.7-mile trail wraps around the lake, featuring stunning views of native flowers overlooking the lake. To access the trail, it is $11 for parking and a $4 per person trail fee.

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Diamond Valley Lake Wildflower Trail, Hemet, CA, Thursday, March 9th, 2023