Yosemite Valley is Now Open:
Visitors can now access the Valley from Highway 140 (through Mariposa County
) or Highway 120 (through Tuolumne County
). Highway 41 (through Madera County
), along with Glacier Point Road, remains closed.
Whether you are traveling two miles to visit a local dog park or exploring the dog-friendly Gold Country along California's Highway 50 and 49, plan your entire trip on DogTrekker.com and take along the DogTrekker mobile app to locate over 8,000 things to do with your pup in the Golden State.
If you’ve lived in California very long (or even if you’re just visiting), you know Highway 49—also dubbed the Golden Chain Highway—as one of the state’s prime scenic and historic byways. From north to south, it stretches 330 miles through nine counties, linking dozens of towns and points of interest dating to the 1849 Gold Rush. Here’s how to plot a dog-friendly journey.
Photo Credit: @bernies_best
Historic Highway 49 in the north starts in the Sierra County town of Vinton and winds south through a mountainous region where the rivers still run free. Even during the summer high season, this county of fewer than 4,000 souls is off the beaten track for most visitors. In fall, it can feel like your own private realm. Set up basecamp in Downieville, a Gold-Rush town on the Yuba River, and prepare to be charmed. more »
Glory Hole Recreation Area
Photo Credit: @stacydwinter
Calaveras County became known in 1800s for its rich gold deposits—and for a certain jumping frog memorialized in a short story by Mark Twain. Today, it’s a destination for Gold Rush tourists, campers, skiers, hikers and adventure seekers, many of whom wouldn’t think of heading into “them ‘thar hills” without their dogs. Angel’s Camp on Highway 49 and Murphys ?on nearby Highway 4 are the principal destinations in these parts. more »
Hidden Falls Regional Park - Photo Credit: @lillyshertigal
Hundreds of square miles of national forests and other public lands make Placer County a DogTrekker hotspot. Highway 49 runs south from Auburn, the county seat, to access 35,000-acre Auburn State Recreation Area hugging two forks of the American River. Hidden Falls Regional Park is delightful in fall even if the falls aren’t running, while at Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park, you can hike to the river and watch the whitewater rafters go by. more »
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Photo Credit: @leave_only_pawprints
Named for the mythical city of gold, El Dorado County epitomizes California Gold Country. Its county seat, Placerville, is named for the alluvial deposits in the American River where many a miner struck it rich. The town of Placerville also makes for an interesting visit with its dog-welcoming restaurants, shops and a historic and dog-friendly hotel, Cary House, right in the middle of the action. Read more about El Dorado County in last week’s Highway 50 Gold Country issue. more »
Shenandoah Valley, Amador County
Photo Credit: @jeffersonthedood
Follow Highway 49 south through Amador County for yet another take on Gold Country. You’ll find lodging at historic, dog-friendly establishments like Hanford House in Sutter Creek, the Imperial Hotel in Amador City and the St. George Hotel in the historic hamlet of Volcano, as well as contemporary Days Inn and Best Western properties. You’ll want to make a weekend of it, as the No. 1 attractions, wine and food, demand lingering. more »
Back in 2008, serendipity struck when Laura Cottingham and Laura Hislop took over a dog kennel in San Rafael—and Hislop's daughter Jessica, who had some disabilities, didn't care that much for people, but loved animals, was in heaven. The dogs loved her right back, and Jessica's Haven & Rescue was born as a place for kids and adults with disabilities to spend quality time with dogs, most of whom need a bit of extra nurturing (like puppies or shy dogs) or medical attention before they find their families. It's good for the dogs, who get to soak up the love, and it's good for special-needs folks, who also get to soak up the love, and learn responsibility for themselves and others too. more »