You have a couple of options here, but the most direct route sends you back to Lake Tahoe and around the North Shore via Highway 267 to its intersection with Highway 50. By now you will have, in an indirect way, circled the lake. Follow 50 up and over the mountains to Carson City and head south on Highway 395, a designated national scenic byway skirting the snow-capped Eastern Sierra.
There are options aplenty for side trips along this gorgeous corridor. A DogTrekker favorite is Bodie State Historic Park, a gold-mining ghost town where leashed dogs can join their uprights in exploring deserted streets and peering into windows of abandoned buildings preserved in a state of “arrested decay.” Bring a picnic lunch and water for you and your pet, as there’s nothing available on the remote grounds.
From Bodie, you’ll head south through the historic town of Bridgeport, pass several Indian trading posts and regionally famous roadhouse restaurants, and arrive at Mono Lake, a geological curiosity of a place with surrealistic tufa formations and quite a few dog-friendly trails. To the south, the Mammoth Lakes area beckons with hiking, fishing, boating, camping and other recreational pursuits.
At the Mammoth Mountain ski area, where lifts will be turning well into mid-summer, DogTrekkers can ride the Panoramic Gondola to its dizzying, 11,053-foot summit—and, conditions permitting, hike down the backside along a chain of lakes and streams. Hitch a ride back to the town of Mammoth on a free shuttle bus, but know that Spot will have to be muzzled as well as leashed. The same rule applies aboard the National Park Service shuttle bus to Red’s Meadow and Devil’s Postpile National Monument where, in an exception to rules in effect at most national parks, leashed dogs are allowed on trails.
When it’s time to put paws to pillow, you’ll find lots of dog-friendly options in this neck of the woods. Two of our favorites: Tamarack Lodge at the ski area and Convict Lake Resort, a cluster of cabins on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in the Sierra.
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