For wildflower enthusiasts, a trip to Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore is a must. Beginning in February, the land is covered with the brilliant prism of nature’s gifts. Vibrant colors from irises, poppies, Indian paint brushes and more rise from the earth, however, this area holds a not-so-secret delight.
There’s an old abandoned daffodil farm tucked away near a secluded hostel by the beach. The daffodils are hidden but if you venture out you will be treated to a large meadow of wild and exotic daffodils. Hundreds bloom each year in this meadow but only for a couple of weeks at the end of February and early March and is the perfect mini adventure for young explorers.
To get there, find the culvert directly across from the hostel’s driveway on Limantour Spit Road. Look for an unmarked trail in the tall grass likely flattened from past explorers. As you walk along the path, you will pass a still pond covered in duckweed. Keep following the trail until the end drops 8 feet down to a small stream. There is a rope to help you scale down. Balance across a log over the creek and then climb up the rope on the other side. Continue a short walk to a meadow of proud daffodils, each demanding your attention.
It’s no wonder the botanical name for daffodil is Narcissus, from Greek mythology about a man who was so handsome that he fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, he stared at it until he died. His name lives on in these flowers. Although the daffodils are unappetizing to local wildlife, ironically narcissistic visitors do pick flowers leaving large bare patches in the field despite being protected by law.
You will quickly notice that you are not alone. A colony of large mounds of stick homes adorned with leaves and acorns are built in the field but make sure not to disturb them. These homes belong to the dusky footed wood rat. Those leaves and twigs are a back up food source.
It’s quite a site to see odd shaped daffodils carpeting the ground and after this years rain they should be spectacular! Stop and observe this magical world around you. Then admire the other wildflowers along the Coast Trail out to Limantour Beach.