April 10, 2011

Daffodil Hill

We were lucky enough this year to hear about the opening of Daffodil Hill and had a free weekend to go check it out. McLaughlin's Daffodil Hill Ranch is a four acre farm privately owned since 1887. Each year, usually in late March over 300,000 daffodil bulbs bloom.  The 300 varieties of daffodills and numerous varieties of other flowers make for a beautiful landscape. This beauty lasts for only a few weeks, depending on the weather. It's during this time that Daffodil Hill is open to the public daily from 9am-4pm. It opens when 25 percent of the flowers are in bloom and closes when only 25 percent remain. Days of operation are dependant on weather so it is recommended that you call before heading out there. Daffodil Hill and the surrounding area had gotten some snow a few days before we were planning to go but luckily the sun dried it out in time for our trip. We headed out on the road, passed the town of Jackson, drove through the small town of Volcano and through a few miles of winding road before reaching the ranch. Employees directed us on where to park. There were several dirt parking lots. We walked back towards the lot entrance and walked across the street to the ranch. There was a California Highway Patrol officer directing auto and pedestrian traffic, making it easy to get across. As soon as we walked on the property we saw numerous beautiful bright flowers. There was a barn to the left and a small souvenir shop on the right. There were paths that looped around the hill and as we passed the first one we across a bright colored peacock just walking along. We were able to get some nice pictures. Walking down the main path towards the hill we came across a horse, chickens, rabbits and more peacocks. There was also old farm equipment along the walkway. We walked on one of the smaller paths that leads to the hill and saw thousands upon thousands of flowers. It was amazing.  We slowly made our way around the hill taking lots of pictures. We could have spent hours there just taking pictures of all of the different flowers. The sheer number of flowers was impressive and the bold colors were mesmerizing. Having walked around the entire loop we ended up at a picnic area near the entrance. Across the street from the ranch was a snack bar operated by the Soroptimist Group.We walked across the roadway back to our car and headed back. The McLaughlin Daffodil Hill Ranch is a place everyone should visit. The staff were friendly and well organized, there were porta potties on site, and snacks nearby. But the most important thing was that the flowers were amazing. We look forward to next years visit.