No More Views of Spring at Daffodil Hill in Volcano

I’ve been reading a lot lately about overtourism but who would think a sleepy little place like Volcano, CA, could experience such a phenomenon? But, indeed it has happened, and to a much-loved local attraction. Daffodil Hill in Volcano has closed to the public indefinitely, which I fear means permanently. The infrastructure of the area just couldn’t handle its popularity and that is not likely to change.

Yellow daffodils with text overlay: Daffodil Hill Farewell to a Landmark in Volcano, CA

The family released a statement earlier in July making the announcement. In the statement, the family said, “Over the past 80 years, many thousands have visited Daffodil Hill in beautiful Amador County. While we, the Ryan family, have enjoyed sharing our serene and peaceful Daffodil Hill with the general public, it is with deep sadness that we announce our decision to close the Hill indefinitely.”

I've been reading a lot lately about overtourism but who would think a sleepy little place like Volcano, CA, could experience such a phenomenon? #overtourism Click To Tweet

Why is Daffodil Hill in Volcano closed?

So, what happened? On opening weekend this year, so many visitors descended on the hill that, at times, it took up to two hours to get to the parking lot. Many visitors chose to park illegally along the narrow roadway and walk through traffic. This was a safety issue along with the fact that the illegally parked cars would have impeded emergency vehicles. Once at the parking area, there just wasn’t enough space for everyone. In addition to frustrated visitors, the long line of cars kept residents from being able to get to their homes.

The family examined several alternatives, including shuttles and reservations for attendance. In the end, they decided that Volcano and the Hill just could not support the volume of visitors and decided to close Daffodil Hill to the public.

It is a sad loss for the community in more ways than one. Residents may be happy that they won’t have to contend with the traffic, but Daffodil Hill brought thousands of tourists and tourist dollars to Volcano and Amador County each year during those 4-6 weeks it was open to the public. The Ryan family hopes you will continue to visit beautiful Amador County as it has so much to offer.

Related: 25 Extraordinary Things to do in Amador County from a Local

Here’s what you will miss now that Daffodil Hill in Volcano is closed!

The following portion of this post was originally published on February 24, 2018.

When I moved to Pine Grove in Northern California’s Gold Country, one of the first things to go on my spring bucket list was a visit to Daffodil Hill in nearby Volcano. The blooms of the more than 300,000 daffodils are legendary and people visit from all over the world to see the spectacular sight.

 

Old shack with daffodils and flowering tree with text overlay: Daffodil Hill Volcano, California

I got lucky that first year. We had a mild winter with little rain – we were at the height of the drought – and the flowers were amazing during the spring of 2015. I’m so glad I made it that year because in 2016, a huge hail storm beat down all the flowers and forced them to close after just a few days.

 

In 2017, it rained and rained. I was out of town when Daffodil Hill opened. When I got back, it was raining and never stopped. Again, they had to close after just a few days and I never made it.

 

This year, right after the Sacramento Bee reported that Daffodil Hill might open early due to our mild winter, it started snowing! So much for an early opening.

 

 

The daffodils love snow and cold weather so hopefully they will still be beautiful when the venue is able to open closer to their regular time. You can be sure I will be watching their Facebook page and the weather, along with hundreds of other people, so I can go as soon as they open!

 

Single yellow and orange daffodil at Daffodil Hill (now closed)
Black and yellow butterfly on white daffodils

 

The Daffodil Hill Story

In the days of the Gold Rush, Daffodil Hill was a stopping point for wagons hauling wood to the mines and for eastbound travelers on the Amador-Nevada Wagon Road which is now Highway 88.

Arthur and Lizzie McLaughlin came west from New York and Ohio. In 1887, they purchased the Daffodil Hill property from Pete Denzer who had planted a few daffodils around the house to remind him of his home country of Holland. Arthur and Lizzie continued to plant daffodils to beautify the property.

The McLaughlin family descendants have continued this tradition by planting new bulbs every year for over a century. Over the past few years, as many as 16,000 bulbs have been planted each year.

 

I was lucky to see the beauty of Daffodil Hill before it closed!

The colors and variety of blooms is mind blowing if you love flowers and nature even a little bit. I took so many photos I just couldn’t decide which ones to put in the post so I made a couple of videos. I hope you enjoy them.

 

 

 

The Details

McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill
18310 Rams Horn Grade
Volcano, California 95689
(209) 296-7048

 

Wagon wheel with orange and pink daffodils

 

Daffodil Hill is a privately owned farm located in an alpine setting at an elevation of over 3,000 feet. It is not formally promoted or publicized but still attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Approximately 7 acres is dedicated to daffodils! If mother nature cooperates, as many as 300 varieties of bulbs put out more than 400,000 blooms annually.

Information prior to the closure of Daffodil Hill (just in case it reopens):

There is no entrance or parking fee but there are yellow teakettles and pots around for those wishing to make a donation. The amount of donations partially determines the number of bulbs planted each year! For the past few years, they have planted around 16,000 bulbs per year.

The farm is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm during blooming season which is usually mid-March through mid-April. It opens for public viewing when 25% of the flowers have bloomed and closes when only 25% remain. When blooming season is over, it returns to being a working ranch and is not open to visitors.

Daffodil Hill is closed when it rains and for a time after. Call ahead to be sure it is open the day you wish to visit if it has been rainy or snowy. I was so dismayed last year when I learned people were climbing their fences when they had to close early. Please be respectful and don’t do that!

Handicap access is limited. Pathways are gravel and dirt with some steep inclines so use caution with wheelchairs and motorized chairs.

No pets allowed.

Stay on the paths and do not pick the blooms!

 

 

12 Interesting Daffodil Facts

  1. Narcissus is the proper name for the daffodil family
  2. Daffodils are synonymous with spring
  3. They symbolize rebirth and new beginnings
  4. They are some of the easiest flower to grow and naturally regrow year after year
  5. Daffodils are one of the rare plants than can grow successfully through snow
  6. Each bulb produces only one flower per year
  7. All parts of the daffodil are toxic to humans, animals (not life threatening) and other flowers
  8. The toxic alkaloid, called lycorine, keeps predators away
  9. Don’t mix daffodils with other cut flowers without soaking their stems for 24 hours first
  10. They are the 10th anniversary flower
  11. They are the symbol of cancer care in many countries
  12. A single daffodil represents bad luck while a bunch is believed to ensure happiness

An old wagon wheel and a pot of daffodils with text overlay: Daffodil Hill, How overtourism closed a local landmark in Volcano, CA
White and salmon daffodils against a red fence with text overlay: Daffodil Hill View a Glorious Display of spring in Volcano, CA, 12 interesting facts about daffodils

Three photos of daffodils of various colors with text overlay: Daffodil Hill View a glorious display of spring in Volcano, CA
Single yellow and orange daffodil with text overlay: Daffodil Hill, View a glorious display of spring in Volcano, CA

After you spend some time visiting the wineries, restaurants and shops in Amador County, you might want to check out some of these other nearby activities.

Were you able to visit Daffodil Hill in Volcano, CA, before it closed? What did you think of it? Do you have anything like this near where you live? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Until next time…



(Visited 175 times, 1 visits today)
Thank you for sharing!

9 Comments

  1. That is just so sad! I hope they reopen. This happened to the Sunflower field in Toronto last year.

  2. There is so much to learn from you story here. Firstly, how one family’s simple act of planting daffodils turned into an enterprise attracting thousands.

    Also, from your story I see that people want more beauty in their lives. Though much of our media is filled with pain, sorry, and the ugliness found in society – there are still so many people who want to feel the beauty. We can all do our bit to spread beauty. Even if it is planting a flower bed, saying a kind word, sharing our own story of hope.

    And obviously, your story shows the negative impact of tourism, and as a traveler I have experienced this. The thing is, there is so much beauty in the world. There is beauty in places people have never seen or heard of before – let’s do our best to help spread it out, so there is plenty of places, and spaces to go around.

    Thank you for your thought-provoking article.

    • I hadn’t really thought about it in terms of people wanting more beauty in their lives but that is so true. I think travel bloggers can play a big part in telling people about lesser known places to help spread out the impact.

  3. Such a lovely place to visit with all those beautiful flowers. Too bad they already closed, I wish that they would reopen and just limit the visitor per day.

    • Yes, it is too bad. Limiting the number of visitors is a good idea but there’s no way to keep the traffic from coming up the hill and that’s the main problem.

  4. How sad. This hill filled with daffodils is so beautiful! There’s a mountain town near me (Julian) that grows daffodils every spring and so far has not been overrun. Some are wild, some are in yards. I love finding all the different varieties and colors. Such happy flowers!
    Sharon recently posted…Tips for Packing Carry-on OnlyMy Profile

    • I have visited Julian (California?) and it is beautiful. At least their attractions and events are a little more spread out. Hope nothing like this happens there. I never realized there were wild daffodils until I moved to northern California.

  5. Omg, I have not been there! And to think my favorite color is yellow and yelloe daffodils are beautuful, especially fields of them. Sad. Maybe they should have charged entrance and parking fees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge