Calaveras County

By: DogTrekker Staff
Dog on blanket in Calaveras County7

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.

The first Saturday in October each year is when the annual Grape Stomp Competition and Gold Rush Street Fair fills downtown Murphys streets with vendor booths and lots of visitors with bewildered dogs watching (very) animated people stomping around in wine barrels. On any day of the year, you and your furry sidekick can go wine-tasting along Main Street. Many of the 25-plus establishments within walking distance of each other are pet-friendly, but we’re partial to Twisted Oak’s decidedly twisted sense of humor (watch out for the rubber chickens) and Zucca Mountain Vineyards’ big reds, cozy cellar tasting room and accommodating garden patio. Hungry? One of Murphys' best restaurants, Alchemy, has a dog-friendly patio (and sometimes live music, too).

Near Angel’s Camp, the Angels Creek Trail within the Glory Hole Recreation Area at New Melones Lake is a moderate, 2.5-mile trail with water views.

Only humans can go underground or zoom aboveground on zip lines at Moaning Cave Adventure Park in Vallecito, but if there are two or more of you, one can dog-sit while the others descend deep underground for a walking tour or to rappel into the largest vertical chamber in a California public cavern. Above-ground activities that dogs may (or may not) be thrilled to watch from below include twin zip lines that zoom those with courage to step off the platform over Gold Country scenery at 35 mph.

Photo Credit: @stacydwinter


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