Cache It In

By: DogTrekker Staff

Bald eagles at Cache Creek Natural AreaWe’ve all seen photos of bald eagles, but how many of us have had the thrill of spotting them in the wild? Cache Creek Natural Area, a patchwork of lands southwest of Williams and west of Clear Lake in Lake, Colusa and Yolo counties, is an off-the-beaten-track destination for DogTrekkers, to be sure. But the opportunity to spy eagles and elk while romping in the rough makes it a great winter hiking destination. Best bet for first-timers is the Redbud Trail, a seven-mile path that starts in a broad meadow and heads up to Brushy Sky High Ridge for great views of rain-swollen Cache Creek and a sea of hills that will turn velvety green in coming weeks.

The Bureau of Land Management offers free wildlife-viewing hikes here on winter Saturdays, but you and your dog are welcome any time on your own. Bring binoculars for close-up views of bald and golden eagles that roost in treetops and feed on fish from the streams between mid-October and mid-April. If you make it as far as the Wilson Valley area, keep an eye out for one of California’s last herds of free-roaming tule elk. 

Dogs under voice control are allowed off-leash here, but chasing wildlife is a no-no, so if your four-legged friend has herding instincts, be prepared to rein her in. Photo: "Bald Eagles at Cache Creek Natural Area" – BLM