Over the past 10 years, DogTrekker’s team of veteran writers and editors have crafted more than 2,500 stories about all of the things you can do with your dog in California. Happy DogTrekking! Remember to travel lightly and always Leave Only Paw Prints®!

Find your oasis in dog-friendly Greater Palm Springs

Photo by Visit Greater Palm Springs/@visitgreaterps.
If your vision of a perfect dog-friendly Palm Springs region vacation includes endless blue skies, awe-inspiring mountains, sparkling pools, swaying palm trees, and lots of tail-wagging fun in the sun, you've come to the right place: Greater Palm Springs.  Read more.

An unforgettable ride in Mendocino County

Kayla ready to board the Skunk Train. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
Mendocino County is known for its breathtaking beaches, wineries and even some redwood forests. Hop aboard a historic train with your pup. This adventure takes “Wanna go for a ride?” to epic excitement levels. The century-and-a-half-old Skunk Train starts in Fort Bragg and winds through redwood groves, panoramic trestles and along a stunning river canyon. Pups are welcome on both open and clos  Read more.

A bird’s eye view for your pup in Del Norte County

Pups can ride the SkyTrail gondola. Photo by Visit Del Norte County.
Del Norte County is known for its Redwood National & State Parks, sprawling beaches and two wild rivers with plenty of trail fun, but check out some of their most unique dog-friendly attractions, trails and lodging.  Read more.

Dog-approved adventures in California’s North Coast region

Frenchie hiking the redwood forests of the North Coast.
Our pups have discerning tastes: good sleeps, good eats and plenty of play. Just north of San Francisco, the ‘North of Ordinary’ counties of California – Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte – offer plenty of fun for both you and and your dog on the North Coast in Northern California.  Read more.

Committed to accessibility and awareness

Welcome to Concord, a proactively ADA city.
Concord is an inclusive city that welcomes guests of all abilities. Families whose loved ones live with sensory challenges—someone on the autism spectrum or with a diagnosed sensory sensitivity, for example—can apply for a free, one-night practice hotel stay through Visit Concord.  Read more.

Special events for you and your dog

Sacramento SPCA Doggy Dash. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
DogTrekkers are a giving bunch as witnessed by their support for the adoption/rescue community through donations, volunteering, and attendance at  Read more.

Spring in Yosemite: Spectacular waterfalls!

Duke at Yosemite. Photo by @dukethechocolatelab.
Spring in Yosemite is incredible this year with bigger and more beautiful spectacular waterfalls, and no reservations needed! California dog parents are perfectly positioned for a visit. Mariposa County and Yosemite National Park are an easy drive from just about anywhere in the state. Head out to enjoy Yosemite’s magnificent waterfalls.   Read more.

Napa Humane Walk for Animals 2023

Maya at Pawsport 2018, Hall Wines. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
Come support Napa Humane at the 12th annual Walk for Animals fundraising event at Yountville Community Park! This short stroll through town goes miles and miles for Napa Valley’s companion animals. Register, fundraise, walk, then participate in the day’s festivities, including raffles, contests, photo ops, and more.   Read more.

Welcome to summer events!

DogTrekker at Bark in the Park, San Jose.
Check out these events for a cause! If you missed California rescue/adoption events this spring, no worries, the summer season is just beginning. DogTrekker.com's event section is filled with adoptathons, fundraisers, walks, costume contests, and more. From Bark in the Park in San Francisco, to the Dog Surf-A-Thon in San Diego, to all in for the Wild Blue Dog Fall Camp in Lake Tahoe.  Read more.

Chow down in Greater Ontario

Hike, eat, chill. Photo by Lazy Dog Restaurant.
Pet-friendly restaurants provide outdoor patios to enjoy a great meal for the entire family, including your dog.   Read more.

Greater Ontario 

When it comes to the “pawfect” road trip for Fido and the family, the cities, historic downtowns, and mountain trails of Greater Ontario are a real treat  Read more.

Family fun with a pup-friendly pedigree

Kids and dogs love the Stanford Inn. Photo by the Stanford Inn.
The Stanford Inn is a family-friendly jewel with plenty of four-paw delights – think hiking trails, a heated saltwater pool, scavenger hunts, canoes that accommodate dogs,  Read more.

Paddle, pedal and play with your pup

Check-in time at the Stanford Inn is a joyous moment. Pups and their people linger in the lobby, sharing stories about their favorite outdoor adventures. Dogs are welcome across the resort’s guestrooms, grounds, bookstore and lobby, of course, but leave some time to explore the region’s pup-friendly beaches, parks, waterways and trails, too.  Read more.

Wellness meets tail-waggin’ fun at the Stanford Inn

Few places match Mendocino’s natural beauty. The Stanford Inn stretches along 10 coastal acres here, framed by USDA-certified organic gardens, towering trees and Pacific Ocean views. Dog-friendly for 43 years and counting, this charming getaway by innkeepers Jeff and Joan Stanford offers an earth-minded experience with wellness programs, spa services, outdoor adventures and plant-based dining.   Read more.

Napa Humane Walk for Animals 2023

Come support Napa Humane at the 12th Annual Walk for Animals fundraising event at Yountville Community Park. This short stroll through town goes miles and miles for Napa Valley’s companion animals. Register, fundraise, walk, then participate in the day’s festivities, including raffles, contests, photo ops, and more. And when you register, use code DOGTREKKER for $5 off!   Read more.

Bark & Meow Around the Block

Poster by Berkeley Humane.
Berkeley Humane’s biggest annual adopt-a-thon and family-friendly event, Bark & Meow Around the Block, will return on Saturday, August 26, 2023!   Read more.

Was Calistoga really founded by a dog?

San Francisco’s Emperor Norton had his dogs Bummer and Lazarus. Calistoga’s Sam Brannan had Leonitus. Archive photo.
The charming Sam Brannan and Leonitus story In the early days of Calistoga, California, a man named Sam Brannan and his loyal Newfoundland dog, Leonitus, embarked on a journey to shape a … Continued  Read more.

Win a Fort Bragg, Mendocino County Beach Dogcation®!

Win a two-night DogCation® at one of the three Beachcomber Hotel properties in Fort Bragg: The Beachcomber Motel, Surf & Sand Lodge, or the Beach House Inn. In addition, each prize package will include a Skunk Train family pack, bike rentals, and a $100 gift certificate good at the North Coast Brewing Company. DogTrekker respects your privacy and will never sell or rent personal information.  Read more.

Don’t miss Bark in the Park

Photo by Bark in the Park.
Bark in the Park is back on September 16 at William Street Park in San Jose from 10am to 5pm. Bark is the Park is the largest dog festival in the United States with fun for the entire family, including the dog! Grab your best friend and a leash and join us for Bark’s 25th year! Enjoy an all-day, outdoor family friendly event. Dogs and their best friends will have a great time.  Read more.

Mendocino magic at every turn

Maya at Mendocino Headlands State Park. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
From on-site organic gardens and Noyo Harbor fishing village scenes to Fort Bragg murals, the pup-friendly Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens,  Read more.

Noteworthy on California’s North Coast: The Noyo Harbor Inn

The Noyo Harbor inn is a Craftsman-style dream with spa treatments, waterfront dining and access to adventures for you and your four-legged family members. From here, it’s easy to explore coastal paths, canoe routes, train rides and restaurant patios across Mendocino County. Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor Inn is a spectacular – and seriously dog-friendly – basecamp for enjoying the season.   Read more.

Fall fun with Fido

GOCAL’s endless summer.
Greater Ontario, California offers the ideal setting for an autumn escape that will create cherished memories for you and your loyal companion.   Read more.

Magic is real in pup-friendly Mendocino County

Kayla celebrating harvest at the Little River Inn. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
Mendocino County captivates those who travel with furry family members, and it has also enchanted DogTrekker readers for decades. With mist-cloaked valleys, ancient redwood stands, and stunning state parks that unfold along the coast and across inland peaks, you’ll discover magical landscapes at every turn. Our friends at Visit Mendocino County just unveiled a new website showcasing that magic.  Read more.

Ruff-ing it in Shasta County

Hiking dog-friendly Whiskeytown Falls trails. Photo by Choose Redding.
The community of Redding anchors Shasta County, and it's the gateway to recreational opportunities across the Shasta Cascade region. Set  Read more.

Plan a spring reset in the Shasta Cascade region

Middle McCloud Falls, Siskiyou County, Upstate California.
Turn travel dreams into real itineraries with the all-new DogTrekker.com. Your ultimate go-to guide for dog-friendly California adventure sparks inspiration while spotlighting destinations like the Shasta Cascade region (aka Upstate CA). This eight-county playground has more than a dozen national and state parks, plus countless trails, lakes, fishing streams, restaurants and hotels that welcome pu  Read more.

Traveling with your dog in the California deserts

Embark on a canine adventure through the California deserts! From Death Valley's awe-inspiring vistas to Anza-Borrego's rugged trails, explore the raw beauty of the desert landscapes while creating unforgettable memories with your furry friend. Remember to pack essentials, respect park regulations, and prioritize safety.   Read more.

Make a big splash

Photo by Visit Big Bear.
It’s not hard to get lured in by the lake lifestyle, especially when your canine companions are welcome on the  Read more.

Things to do with your pets in Yosemite Mariposa County

The Yosemite Mariposa County region offers an adventure-filled vacation not just for humans but for their four-legged companions as well. The stunning scenery and outdoor activities that evoke feelings of joy and awe in humans are bound to elevate the happiness of dogs too. From sniffing pine cones to exploring misty waterfall trails and encountering an abundance of sticks, dogs can revel in the s  Read more.

Four-day Yosemite Mariposa County dog-friendly itinerary

Yosemite Mariposa County is a premier travel destination for all adventurers, no matter how many legs they have. You and your furry companions will have numerous activities and amenities at the tip of your fingers, or paws. Here's a detailed itinerary for four pet-perfect days in Yosemite Mariposa County:  Read more.

Woof it up in Vacaville

So…what do you and your pup know about dog-friendly Vacaville and its slice of Solano County? Maybe not much if all you’ve done is zoom past the exits on Interstate 80.  Read more.

Capital sipping experiences

Sacramento is not only the star on the map of California, it’s a fabulous base camp for exploring wineries in and within a short distance of town (check out our list of great dog-friendly places to stay).  Read more.

Day 4: Barking ways

“All-Paw-Drive” in National Forests.
Hit the trails with your four-legged friends. All vacations come to a close, or else we’d all be living a dog’s life! Enjoy your last day to its fullest with … Continued  Read more.

To Bridgeport and beyond in the Eastern Sierra

Bodie at Mono Lake. Photo by Cathy Crnkovich.
Oh, so many dog-friendly overnight choices! The town of Bridgeport, about 100 miles south of Carson City in Mono County, offers multiple options: The historic Bridgeport Inn (dog-friendly rooms are in a motel-style building out back, but you can both enjoy dinner on the porch); the Ruby Inn, Big Meadow Lodge and Walker River Lodge.  Read more.

When and where to go in the Eastern Sierra

Fall color in the the Eastern Sierra. Photo by Jennifer Chen.
Summers are glorious for dogs in the Eastern Sierra while winters are devoted to snow sports,but the best time of year, especially if you’re into photography, is late September into mid-October.  Read more.

First time paws-ing in Redding?

Sundial Bridge. Photo by Choose Redding.
If you’re new to Redding and the eight-county UpState CA region, start at the Shasta Cascade Welcome Center that’s just down the road in Anderson. Open daily and packed with free maps, brochures, exhibits, geocaching guidance, gifts and even a waterfall pond with wild trout, it's your gateway to the area’s experiences. The DogTrekker team has also outlined a few of our favorite dog-frien  Read more.

Wag your way through the Central Valley

Photo by Chris Howe, Western Railway Museum.
Redwood forests and mountains might be more scenically impressive, but there’s a different kind of ambience to be had in California’s flatlands. And the dog-friendly excursion trains that operate here provide plenty of diversions. Take, for example, the electric trains of the Western Railway Museum, a repository of history from the pre-Interstate days when Northern California communit  Read more.

Unsure about your dog on a train? Try a small-scale starter train

Photo by David McSpadden (cc).
Don’t know if your dog will like riding the rails? You can always try a training ride on the Tilden/Redwood Valley Railway in Berkeley’s Tilden Regional Park. It’s an authentic miniature steam train featuring more than 30 pieces of rolling stock. Call ahead if bringing a dog. One of the East Bay Regional Park District’s three oldest parks, Tilden has been called the jewel   Read more.

Cruising for history and scenery in Santa Cruz County

Engineer-in-training on Roaring Camp Railroad. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.
Roaring Camp Railroads, based out of Felton in Santa Cruz County, provides more than just a dog-friendly ride. The company’s Redwood Forest Steam Trains roll on a narrow-gauge track once used to haul giant redwood logs from the forest. They cruise now on 75-minute trips from Roaring Camp to Bear Mountain, where a picnic stop and hiking trails await.  Read more.

Special adventures for furry friends in Mendocino

Water dog at the Little River Inn. Photo by Brendan McGuigan.
Mendocino County has so many dog-friendly activities that you might want to stay a few extra days. The Skunk Train is a northern California classic that departs from depots in coastal Fort Bragg and inland Willits  Read more.

Tenaya Lodge with the kids – summer

Not surprisingly, a place as big as Yosemite is home to plenty of outdoor and indoor activities for children of all ages. Of course, there’s the seemingly-endless natural beauty waiting in Yosemite Valley. As just one example, Glacier Point offers outstanding stargazing.  Read more.

Treat your pup to a Yosemite vacation

Maya enjoying the Explorer Cabins at Tenaya Lodge. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
Feeling a little spring fever? Now is the perfect time to plan a getaway with your furry friend. The Explorer Cabins at Tenaya Lodge are designed for pet-lovers, making dog travel a breeze. These modern, two-bedroom cabins are tucked on 27 wooded acres—perfect for adventuring with two- and four-legged family members—and they’re just minutes from the main lodge and more resort ame  Read more.

Wag your way through Old Sac

Sacramento’s No. 1 tourist destination is as popular with locals as with visitors. And now that masks are off and smiles are on, it’s crazy hopping with activity again. The Old Sacramento Waterfront is loaded with history – it played a major role as a jumping off spot and supply center during the 1849 Gold Rush. With its waterfront location, wealth of historic buildings and prote  Read more.

All aboard a historic train through the redwoods

Roaring Camp Railroads. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.
See California’s towering redwoods from an authentic 19th-century steam train through the Big Trees to the summit of Bear Mountain at Roaring Camp Railroads. Well-behaved dogs are welcome aboard and will love to put their nose to the sky as they take in the smells of the redwoods. And for the active pups that want to get some miles in, there are plenty of trails and grounds to explore!  Read more.

Fall into Mendocino County

Photo by Mendocino Grove.
California travelers know fall is the ripe time to pack the hiking boots for an adventure in Northern California’s Mendocino County.  Read more.

Board the storied Skunk Train

Kayla gets ready to board. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
Experience classic Mendocino County on the California Western Railroad’s Redwood Route, a logging-era line established in 1885.  Read more.

Open air dog-friendly activities perfect for social distancing

By now, we all know the drill: wash your hands, cover your face in public, maintain six feet of “social distancing” between yourself and anyone else who is not a member of your household “bubble.” So where does your dog fit in? Right by your side, as always! In Mendocino County, you’ll have access to many activities that let you have fun while still adhering to the gu  Read more.

Hear the lonely whistle blow, watch the plants bloom

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Photo by Jessica Bay.
When visiting Fort Bragg with your dog, there are two activities you won’t want to woof out on. First is Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, a dog-friendly, bluff-top showplace best known for rare species of rhododendrons that thrive few places outside Southeast Asia and the Himalayas.  Read more.

At Tahoe: Plowed trails for tails

Sometimes when in snow country you just want to walk the dog, not make a gear-heavy, ski or snowshoe production of it. At Lake Tahoe, you’re in luck with a network of plowed, multipurpose trails   Read more.

New Training Classes at the East Bay SPCA

The East Bay SPCA has completely revamped their training classes to accommodate the modern needs of the urban or suburban dog while using the most effective, cutting-edge, scientifically supported learning theory and teaching methods. "Skill Builders" is the entry level class designed to teach general good manners in the home and the foundation necessary for more advanced training.  Read more.

East Bay SPCA dog training classes

Photo by Destiny Wiens.
The East Bay SPCA has completely revamped their training classes to accommodate the modern needs of the urban or suburban dog while using the most effective, cutting-edge, scientifically supported learning theory and teaching methods.  Read more.

Luxury Gold Country farm visit

Photo by Dog & Pony Ranch.
DogTrekker showcases many different types of lodging and family experiences, but none quite compares with the farm stay adventure at Dog & Pony Ranch in Amador County. Maya, DogTrekker.com’s Director of Barketing, loves hiking on the 60-acre ranch, swimming in the dog-friendly pond, getting nose-to-nose with the horses, llamas, mini-donkeys and chickens (extensive fencing keeps dogs safely s  Read more.

Get a dog-friendly lift at Mammoth or Tahoe

Palisades Tahoe Tram. Photo by Palisades Tahoe.
Both you and your dog will enjoy the novelty of a lift-assisted hike at the Northstar California, Palisades Tahoe or Mammoth Mountain ski resorts, all of which welcome four-legged passengers in their enclosed aerial conveyances.  Read more.

Make it a family affair in Marin

Photo by Marin Country Mart.
Marin County it’s been said, has a larger population of dogs than of children. Whether that’s urban legend or fact, residents are definitely known to dote on their four-legged family members.  Read more.

The Benefits of Crate Training

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital Crate training is awesome! Puppies and adult dogs alike can really benefit from having a place to call their den. Crate training can cut down on inappropriate elimination in the house, diminish your dog's stress, and simplify traveling with your furry friend. Make the crate as inviting as possible.  Read more.

Tails wag on Big Sur Coast

Big Sur. Photo by Lisha Riabinina.
Take a drive on the scenic California Coast to Big Sur, pulling over at beaches, redwood forests and fun dog-friendly stops that are sure to please both two and four-leggers.  Read more.

Rev up in Redding

Sundial Bridge. Photo by Turtle Bay Exploration Park.
Redding (population about 100,000) is the Shasta Cascade region’s largest city, and it’s a great place to make base camp with your four-legged friend.  Read more.

Beach bliss at South Lake Tahoe

Looking to spend some quality beach time with your four-legged pal at Lake Tahoe's South Shore? We've scouted out the spots where Sparky is welcome to romp in the sand and dip his paws in the Big Blue.  Read more.

Ride the Tilden Railway with Rufus

Redwood Valley Railroad in Berkeley’s Tilden Regional Park. Photo by David McSpadden (CC).
Kids (and dogs) of all ages visiting Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley are drawn like magnets to the Tilden/Redwood Valley Railway, a miniature train that has been looping around the park since 1952.  Read more.

Fetch a Ride on the Sacramento RiverTrain

Photo courtesy: Sacramento RiverTrain Put your arm around your pooch and savor the fresh air, food and valley views to be enjoyed from Sacramento RiverTrain’s dog-friendly open-air cars. Three-hour, themed daytime trips feature wine or beer tastings, picnics, “great train robberies,” pumpkin-patch visits  Read more.

The Value of Crate Training

Tobi enjoying her crate. (CC) Laura Harris By Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB, DACAW, CAWA, San Francisco SPCA Some dog owners believe crate training is cruel and dogs should not be confined. The truth is that a crate, if introduced correctly, can be a safe haven and a great place for a dog. A crate can provide a great sense of security and stability for your dog. Keep in mind that it is important t  Read more.

Mendocino’s inland empire

Skunk Train. Photo by Brendan McGuigan.
Many Mendocino County visitors stay glued to the scenic stretch of coastline between Little River and Fort Bragg, but to do so is to miss out on redwoods, wineries, off-the-beaten-path seaside preserves and small, inland towns that extend a warm welcome to travelers with pets.  Read more.

Vroom over to Vacaville

Lagoon Valley Park, Vacaville.
Sometimes the places in our own backyard are the least explored. And for many Northern Californians, Vacaville, a familiar name on Interstate 80, is one of them.  Read more.

At Tahoe: The ultimate doggie meetup

Dogs on the beach at Lake Tahoe.
Who hasn’t gazed out at Lake Tahoe and wished there was a really good beach where dogs could run, leap, swim, dock dive and otherwise play to their hearts’ content? Well, there is. For two or three weeks each summer, Camp Winnaribbun, on Tahoe’s southeast shore, opens its gates to what only can be described as doggie paradise. Photo: Anne Chadwick WIlliams  Read more.

Kick, glide, bark

Photo by Rich Morgan.
Cross-country skiing is intensely popular in Northern California snow country, but if you prefer groomed trails at developed ski areas, your need to know where dogs are welcome and where they're not.  Read more.

Take it to Tahoe

Photo by Tahoe City Kayak.
Dogs won't fit in just any kayak, and expecting them to balance like acrobats on a slippery bow is unrealistic if not dangerous.  Read more.

Pie Am I in Gold Country

Photo by Apple Hill Growers.
Things get so busy in October in the Apple Hill region of El Dorado County that shuttle buses are put into play. But from Labor Day weekend until the calendar page turns, you’ll enjoy the bounty without the crowds at 56 family-owned “ranches” between Placerville and Pollock Pines.  Read more.

A Mammoth undertaking

Photo by Mammoth Lakes.
The Mammoth Lakes area of the Eastern Sierra holds some of California's most stunning—and paw-friendly —high-altitude landscapes. At Mammoth Mountain, hikers with leashed dogs can hop aboard the Panorama Gondola for a ride to the mountain's 11,053-foot summit and 360-degree views of surrounding peaks.  Read more.

Paw your way to High Camp

Palisades Tahoe iconic aerial tram offers what is perhaps the most dramatic scenic mechanized mountain high at Lake Tahoe. Many passengers in the dog-friendly stand-up conveyance  Read more.

Shop talk

Photo by Mart Production.
Shopping with a dog can be problematic—unless, of course, you're shopping for the dog. A best bet for yourself and for Fido is the merrily lit, boutique-lined stretch of Union Street  Read more.

Cowabunga!

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Splash! Everybody in the water!

Lakes and Rivers

Water dog heaven!

Canoeing Rafting Boats

Pay no attention to the dog behind the table

Food and Wine

Don't eat the flowers please

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