Monday, February 29, 2016

Daffodil Hill Opens March 2

Daffodil Hill will open its gates for our 76th season on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, weather permitting.  The hill will remain open (again, weather permitting) until fewer than 25% of our daffodil blooms remain.

Our hours of operation are 10 am to 4 pm, seven days a week.  For safety reasons, we must close the Hill when it rains or snows and our dirt paths are slippery.  Daffodil Hill does not have a website, so visitors are encouraged to call our recorded phone message at (209) 296-7048 or check our Facebook page for updates on conditions at Daffodil Hill.  In addition, our friends at the Amador County Chamber of Commerce are happy to answer your questions about the Hill at (209) 223-0350.

There is no admission fee for Daffodil Hill and no charge for parking.  Picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, for the use of our visitors.  Food is also available for purchase.  Donations are accepted to help defray the cost of the thousands of new bulbs we plant each year.  We also offer a few items for sale.

  • Just a few friendly reminders for our visitors this year:
  • Please respect our property as you would your own.
  • Please stay on paths and out of the flowers, buildings and posted areas.
  • No dogs or other pets are allowed on the Hill, although they are allowed in our parking lot.
  •  Please wear appropriate footwear.  Our paths are primarily dirt and gravel, which can make footing an issue for some visitors.
We strongly encourage visitors to come during the week to avoid the large crowds we have on the weekends.
Motorcyclists should be aware our parking lot is dirt and gravel with some relatively steep grades.  Please be careful when navigating through our parking lot.

We look forward to your visit and hope you enjoy this year’s bloom.
Daffodil Hill is located at 18310 Rams Horn Grade, Volcano, CA 95689.

Daffodil Hill Driving Directions
Daffodil Hill can be reached from Sutter Creek and the trip is about twelve miles. Sutter Creek is located on Old Highway 49 in Amador County, accessible from Sacramento via Highway 16 (Jackson Road) or from Stockton via Highway 99 (Highway 88 turnoff)
From Main Street Sutter Creek (Old Highway 49), turn East on Gopher Flat Road.  Drive approximately 3 miles, and turn left at the third stop sign, which is Shake Ridge Road.  Drive about 9 miles on Shake Ridge Road to Rams Horn Grade.  Parking is to the left.  You have arrived!

Daffodil Hill is a ranch owned by the McLaughlin family since 1887, and is located at 18310 Rams Horn Grade, Volcano, CA 95689.  In the early days of the Gold Rush, Daffodil Hill was a regular stopping place for teamsters hauling timber from the Sierras down to the Kennedy and Argonaut Mines, and for eastbound travelers heading for the Comstock Lode on the Amador-Nevada Wagon Road (Highway 88).
In 1877, after coming west from New York and Ohio, Arthur McLaughlin and his wife, “Lizzie” van Vorst-McLaughlin purchased the ranch from Dutchman Pete Denzer, who planted a few daffodils around his residence in remembrance of his home country of Holland.  Arthur and Lizzie continued to plant additional daffodils to beautify the ranch.
Daffodil Hill is situated in a beautiful mountain setting at the 3,000 foot elevation in Amador County.  With pine trees, the original 1880’s barn, wagon wheels, gold rush era mining equipment and antique farming implements, it appeals to anyone with a love of nature and history.  Flowers are everywhere and peacocks, chickens, pigeons, and the donkeys, Belle, Rosie, and Sunshine , are also there for everyone to enjoy.

Over a Century of Nurturing
Today, much of the landscape around the old homestead is covered with several varieties of daffodils.  The McLaughlin’s descendants, the Ryan Family, and their families and friends have continued to plant several thousand bulbs a year.  It is estimated that today, Daffodil Hill is carpeted with approximately 300,000 bulbs when in full bloom.

Season and Hours of Operation
Daffodil Hill is open only in the spring, usually from mid-March through the first weeks of April.  After that it goes back to a private ranch and is not open for visitors.  Mother Nature determines the length of the blooming season each year.  Daffodil Hill is not open during or immediately after inclement weather.  Visitors are advised to call Daffodil Hill (209) 296-7048, or check the Facebook page, before they visit to make sure it is open that day.  Daffodil Hill is open seven days a week during the season from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, weather permitting.  Admission and parking are free, although donations are gratefully accepted.  McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill is a family operated and funded operation and any donations help fund new bulbs for the following year.

Special Requests

The family requests all visitors stay on the paths at all times and do not enter the planting areas or pick the blooms.  In an effort to preserve the tranquility of Daffodil Hill, no pets are allowed on the main grounds.