Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

On Interstate 80 at the Yolo Causeway between Davis and Sacramento, you will see signs identifying the dog-friendly Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area within the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. The north side of the preserve, between Interstate 80 and the railroad tracks down which Amtrak trains whiz every couple of hours, is open to dogs and their people (see map; look for dog symbol between highway and railroad tracks).

For bird-dogs, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area offers off-leash open space in which to train (but not hunt), along with ponds where dogs can cool off or practice retrieving. But you don’t have to be a hunter or trainer to enjoy a stroll down the dirt road that runs down the middle of the miles-long, quarter-mile-wide strip of land. It’s open to all and is at its best during dry spells in winter and spring, when fox-tails and thistles don’t pose hazards. Make sure your dog has an excellent recall, as swampy places, burrs and stickers abound.

The downside here is highway noise, but the Interstate itself is elevated for most of the length of the causeway and well fenced in sections that are bermed, rather than elevated. Most of the train track is also on trestles well above ground level, but some sections are not, so keep a close eye on your companion.  

To get there: From Sacramento, take Interstate 80 west. The exit for the wildlife preserve is the first one at the end of the causeway. Curve right onto Road 32A and take the spur to the left leading up the levee. Park by the silver railing or the yellow gate. The dirt road into the preserve starts at the bottom of the levee; you’ll see it once you crest the rise. A recently posted sign identifies the preserve (but says nothing about dogs). 

From Davis, exit at the Vic Fazio Wildlife Preserve sign on the west end of the causeway and go left on Road 32B. Follow it under the highway (where it becomes 32A) and up the levee to the parking area. 

Note: In some years portions of the dog-training area are leased for cattle grazing and the public is prohibited from entering.

© 2024 DogTrekker.com
Website by Brandhound