Daffodil Hill expected to open ahead of schedule this spring

A warm, dry winter means the flowers blanketing Daffodil Hill will likely bloom earlier than normal this year, prompting the Amador County attraction to open ahead of schedule.

More than 300,000 daffodils shone across 36 acres during last year's March 17 opening in the Sierra foothills town of Volcano. While a 2018 opening date has yet to be set, Daffodil Hill recently posted on Facebook that an announcement was imminent.

Ranch proprietors typically wait until a quarter of the flowers have bloomed before opening, and close when only a quarter remain. Daffodil Hill's moderately high elevation - about 2,000 feet above sea level - causes flowers there to bloom later than some in the Sacramento Valley.

This year's visiting opportunities are highly weather-dependent even after the start date, as the hill is closed off during wet weather due to erosion concerns and warm temperature blasts can quicken the flowers' wilting.

Though daffodils' flowering seasons can last between six weeks and six months, according to the American Daffodil Society, last year's exhibition stayed open for just two weeks before the blooms faded in mid-70s heat and terrain became trampled.

To check when the ranch at 18310 Rams Horn Grade will open, visit Daffodil Hill's Facebook page or call 209-296-7048.

Benjy Egel: (916) 321-1052,