Thursday, March 9, 2017

Daffodil Hill opens for its 77th season on Friday, March 17

Do you have the desire to experience Spring at its finest? Would you like to enjoy mountain fresh air, with acres of daffodils to walk through? Then a trip to the amazing and lovely Daffodil Hill should be top on your list of things to do. Daffodil Hill will open its gates for its 77th season on Friday, March 17th (Weather Permitting) and stay open through early April, 2017, weather permitting. 

Before coming to enjoy this amazing display of nature, visitors are encouraged to call the recorded phone message at (209) 296-7048 or check McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill on Facebook, to see if Daffodil Hill is open that day. Daffodil Hill is located at 18310 Rams Horn Grade, Volcano, CA. 95689 and is open Monday through Sunday; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are free.  Sorry, no pets are allowed on the property.

Photo by Samuel Hindi Patterson
Each spring, Daffodil Hill explodes with thousands of blooms, attracting visitors from around the world. Approximately 6 acres of the Daffodil Hill ranch is dedicated to the daffodils. As many as 500,000 annual blooms are there for your pleasure. Visitors are welcome to walk through this beautiful display of nature or just sit on a bench and soak in the wonderful experience of the Daffodils. This is also a perfect setting for photos of all kinds.

Daffodil Hill is in a beautiful alpine setting at an elevation of over 3,000 feet. With pine trees, an old barn, wagon wheels, and rusting mining equipment and farming tools, it appeals to anyone with a love of nature. Flowers are everywhere, with peacocks, chickens, pigeons and miniature donkeys making themselves at home.

Nature sets the schedule for public viewing. Daffodil Hill opens when 25 percent of the flowers are in bloom and closes when only 25 percent remain. The best time to visit Daffodil Hill is the spring, usually from mid-March to mid-April. Daffodil Hill is open only at this time of year, after that it goes back to a working ranch. Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy some of the concessions there. After your visit to Daffodil Hill, come back down to Sutter Creek for unique shopping, wine tasting, dining and more history.

There is no admission charge or parking fee to visit the family ranch, but there are many yellow teakettles and pots around so that anyone, if they desire, may donate to keep this precious, family run, tradition alive.  This is a rare opportunity to experience History and Nature together in one of Amador County’s best treasures.

Concerned about accessibility? Daffodil Hill has many dirt paths with varying degrees of incline and decline.  Many visitors using scooters, wheelchairs, and walkers come to enjoy the day at Daffodil Hill.  However, travel on the paths will depend upon your personal level of comfort and stability. Great views of the daffodils are available from the bottom of the hill looking upward.  There is also an easily accessible picnic area containing daffodils which everyone will enjoy. Bring a picnic or enjoy some of the food cooked on site by the Soroptimist Organization of Amador County. Handicap parking and port-a-pottys are also available.

Directions to Daffodil Hill
Daffodil Hill is approximately 12 miles from Sutter Creek.
Sutter Creek is located on Old Highway 49 in Amador County, accessible from Sacramento via Highway 16 (Jackson Rd.) or from Stockton via Highway 99 (Highway 88 turnoff).
From Sutter Creek, turn East on Gopher Flat Road. Drive for 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.  You have arrived! 
Sorry, No pets allowed on grounds of Daffodil Hill.

At the time the 36-acre ranch was purchased in 1887, the early days of the Gold Rush, it served as a way-station for teamsters hauling timber from the Sierras down to the Kennedy and Argonaut Mines, and for east bound travelers heading for the Comstock Lode on the Amador-Nevada Wagon Road (Highway 88) and others traveling the road from Kit Carson Pass. The McLaughlin’s continued the way-station operation, renting rooms, and serving meals (breakfast for 25 cents) to the travelers and providing feed and shelter for their animals.  For many years the loft of the ranch barn that still stands today, was used for “Saturday Night” dances for guests and neighbors. The owners Arthur and his wife, Lizzie, began to plant the first daffodil bulbs in their spare time. The bulbs have since been lovingly nurtured.

Not a commercial enterprise, the ranch has been owned by the same family since it was acquired in 1887 by wagon pioneers Arthur McLaughlin and Elizabeth “Lizzie” van Vorst-McLaughlin. The McLaughlin’s descendants, the Ryan family, have continued to personally plant several thousand new bulbs a year. The Ryan brothers and their families, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and great-great-great grandchildren plant an average of 12,000 daffodil bulbs per year!

The hill is open Monday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.  Admission and parking are free. Food is available for sale at the concession stand across the road. Please call (209) 296-7048 to make sure Daffodil Hill is open the day you wish to visit. Daffodil Hill is also on Facebook.


  1. We would love to come and see this event with our new 7 week old girl, but we have a highly trained service dog we take everywhere. Can we still attend?

  2. We would love to see this beautiful event with our 7 week old girl, but we have a highly trained service dog. Can we still attend?