Wildflower season has come early to the Sierra foothills this year, and you’ll have to act fast to enjoy the bloom before it’s gone. Here are five favorite dog-friendly wildflower hikes in Gold Country.
- The Hite Cove portion of the Merced River Trail is all about wildflowers at this time of year and is considered the best wildflower walk in the region. It’s in Mariposa County.
- Hidden Falls Regional Park, near Auburn in Placer County, is a gem of a place with 30 acres of trails. The hills are emerald green and popping with wildflowers at this time of year, and the namesake waterfall is gushing.
- Wildflowers along the Buttermilk Bend Trail at South Yuba River State Park in Nevada County frame views of the churning river below the bluffs. A 251-foot covered bridge adds photographic interest.
- The Tuolumne River Canyon Trail near Groveland sports extensive stands of wildflowers just after snowmelt season, which is now. Be on the lookout for bald eagles!
- The 3.5-mile Wawona Meadow Loop in Yosemite National Park is the only non-paved path in the preserve that dogs are allowed to set paw on. Stroll and admire the wildflowers before heading to the valley and hiking the (paved) trail to Lower Yosemite Fall.