July 25, 2017

Where to see beautiful wildflowers

Posted : February 27, 2016
california poppies john slot

The Calaveras River in Jenny Lind near Valley Springs | John Slot

It would be an understatement to say we’ve had huge amounts of water falling on the foothills this winter. Local lakes are at levels not seen for years, and within a few weeks, we’re expecting to see an explosion of wildflowers.  See below for recommendations on wildflower outings and don’t miss the annual Motherlode Daffodil Show at Ironstone Vineyards, which features thousands of the colorful flowers and related artwork!


Daffodils at Ironstone

Roadside Daffodils at Ironstone

Mother Lode Daffodil Show 2017
March 18 11:00am – 5:00pm
March 19   10:00am – 3:00 pm
Ironstone Vineyards
1894 Six Mile Road
Murphys, CA 95247

Now in its 22nd year, the Mother Lode Daffodil Show is a sensory delight. The road from Murphys to Ironstone is lined with daffodils (the largest display of daffodils in the Gold Country) and once inside the venue, you’ll be treated to all sorts of horticultural exhibits and artistic designs.

On Saturday, there will be a shuttle bus operating between Ironstone and downtown Murphys, so visitors may park at Ironstone and enjoy both the Daffodil Show at the winery and the Irish Day festivities.

Nearby Daffodil Hill in Volcano has the next largest plantings of daffodils and is also worth checking out.


Poppies near Valley Springs | by John Slot

Strolls and Hikes

March is a perfect time of year for a walk along the trails of the foothill lakes, the poppies begin to bloom and as the month goes on, more and more color will begin to shine. A moderate hike up the Table Mountain trail, part of the New Melones Recreation Area, offers a unique volcanic plateau overlooking Melones Lake and is home to vernal pools and many species of wildflowers. The trails at Glory Hole and Tuttletown entrances offer easier walks. Trail systems at New Hogan and Camanche lakes, in the Valley Springs area are also awash with wildflowers, rolling green grasses and budding oak trees.

Foothill towns with historic downtowns, like Mokelumne Hill, Angels Camp and Murphys all have populations of gold rush-era fruit trees sporting their colorful blossoms throughout the spring. The Mokelumne River Canyon is another popular place to see hillsides dense with poppies.

Lupines | by Joel Metzger

Lupines | by Joel Metzger

Take The Car

Hop in the car and explore some of our favorite backroads and byways. In the winding river canyons you’ll see redbud trees, lupine and lilacs coming out. In ranch country near Copper and Valley Springs, be on the look out for poppy fields, mustard, and blossoming fruit and nut trees.

In the higher elevations, wildflowers start blooming later, so you’ll have plenty of time to venture out to enjoy the multiple species on show at Highland Lakes.

For more ideas on things to do in Spring, check out our Spring Vacation Itineraries.

Redbud trees near Vallecito, CA | Jason B Smith Photo

Among the earliest bits of spring color to poke out of the green are the Redbud trees growing all over the county, like these near Vallecito. | Jason B Smith Photo

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