Placer County is large and diverse, stretching from just north of Sacramento County all the way to Tahoe’s north shore. In between are hundreds of square miles of national forest lands, including dog-friendly Auburn State Recreation Area, stretching 20 miles along two forks of the American River. Less well known but an excellent destination for hikers with dogs is Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park, which is under jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, which is not restrictive about dogs on trails.
The park comprises 1,418 acres of scenic, oak-studded hills with 12 miles of hiking/biking/equestrian trails leading from two trailheads areas to the South Fork of the American River.
Closer to Lake Tahoe, regulations get a little sticky. At Palisades Tahoe, hiking trails are open but High Camp and the iconic tram that takes people there are not. The dining/takeout situation changes constantly, so the best thing to do is take a stroll in the dog-friendly village and see what’s open.
Meanwhile, the town of Truckee (technically in Nevada County, but right on the line with Placer) has seen a heavy influx of visitors this summer despite discouraging out-of-towners to stay away on weekends due to issues with parking, camping, complaints about trash and other issues. Officials urge visitors to travel responsibly and recommend waiting until after Labor Day, when crowds will thin, to pay a visit.