Gold in them thar hills of Amador County, California doesn’t always come in precious metal form. Historic McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill in Volcano welcomes thousands of visitors in the spring with fields of gold. Although the weather dictates when the McLaughlin farm is covered with daffodils, you can count on it being open to the public around mid-March to early April.
Daffodil Hill was once owned by Peter Denzer, who planted daffodils to remind him of his native Holland. In 1887, the land was purchased by Arthur and Lizzie van Vorst-McLaughlin, and their farm became a regular stop for workers and travelers during the Gold Rush.
Lizzie planted more daffodils, and this tradition continued with their descendants. Today, McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill is a working farm, still run by the family. They graciously open their ranch to countless visitors when the daffodils are in bloom. Admission, the picnic area, and parking is free, but it’s best to contact McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill at (209) 296-7048 for its spring schedule. Or you can call the Amador County Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-296-7048. Donations are accepted as a way to fund the purchase of new bulbs for the following year.
Visitors follow two simple rules:
1) Stay on the paths.
2) Fido or any other pets are allowed in the parking area, but not on the ranch.
Visit Daffodil Hill each year, and you’ll realize that this ranch has made more room for more daffodils. Bring your camera. The daffodils on a bright spring day are the perfect subject or backdrop. There are many benches available for your subjects to strike a pose. Or you can sit, take in the fresh mountain air and admire the landscape. Many families bring picnic lunches or purchase food from a vendor located in the parking area.