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Daffodil Ditch & Daffodil Hill

Hi.  I’m Walking Bob, and I remember stopping to take the picture on the right of a beautiful collection of daffodils in a ditch outside Ikeda’s on Mace Boulevard a couple of years ago.  My wife enjoyed the photo and said she’d seen photos of something even more impressive than my Daffodil Ditch photos at a place called Daffodil Hill in Amador County.  I discovered that the farm was already closed for the season, so we put it on our list of things to do.  A trip to Daffodil Hill finally made it onto our April calendar, so Walking Bob got to walk the hill.

Daffodil Hill is a working farm most of the year, but during a brief time that usually begins in late March and ends in early May, they open up to visitors when the weather is good.  We called (209) 296-7048 to verify that they’d be open for their usual 10 to 4:00 time and headed off for what Yahoo said was a 70-mile drive.  My first warning is that you should avoid following Yahoo on this one because if we hadn’t found a Tourist Information site we might still be wandering the roads of Amador County.  Check out the website for Daffodil Hill for directions that will actually get you there.

The road to Volcano had plenty of twists and turns with some beautiful scenery for passengers, although the driver needs to keep a close eye on those winding roads.  Eventually we arrived at 18301 Rams Horn Grade, found the free parking and walked across to the entrance to Daffodil Hill.  The entrance area had plenty of daffodils and other flowers in planters, little plots, and even in old bathtubs.

That opening section was impressive, but when we followed the path up to what we had come to see, we were rewarded with an amazing hill filled with daffodils.  They advertise 300,000 bulbs in bloom at the peak of the season, and although I didn’t count, I can just say that I’ve never seen that many flowers in one place anywhere.  I’ve never seen 300 daffodils in one place, and they say they have 300 different varieties of daffodil on Daffodil Hill.

In addition to the flowers, there are chickens, rabbits, pigeons and some brightly colored peacocks, or to put it more inclusively, peafowl.  There is also a unique collection of relics from the gold mine era, which is fitting for a farm that was originally purchased by Arthur and Lizzie McLaughlin in 1887.  The farm has remained with the family for almost 125 years now and has become what many call the number one tourist attraction in Amador County, even though it is only open for a brief window of opportunity each year.

This isn’t a full tourist trap with a restaurant and spacious restrooms, although they have plenty of those little portable facilities and a snack bar run by the Soroptomists.  My advice would be to plan a stop in nearby Volcano or Jackson to check out the local eateries before or after your visit.

Daffodil Hill opens on non-rainy days beginning when 25% of the bulbs are blooming and closes when only 25% are left open.  I say, you’d best get up there soon so you don’t have to wait until next year.  Give them a call to be sure they’ll be open and then head up the hill. Be sure you take your camera, or whatever electronic device you now use to take photos.

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