Let’s admit it. DogTrekkers are spoiled here in sun-kissed California. We escape to places where palm trees sway, and waves crash against sandy shores. We’ve got gorgeous parkland and open spaces. Mountain towns boast breathtaking landscapes, inviting trails and crystal-clear lakes. And many of these jewels welcome dogs.
You’ll find enchanting California mountain towns just waiting for people and pups who seek adventure on a grand scale. These communities are also home to charming and dog-friendly places to stay, dine, hike, swim, and play. We’ll explore a few mountain towns today, beginning our 5,000-foot-plus journey near Lake Tahoe and moving south.
Delightful surprises in Tahoe City
Tahoe City, set on the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe in Placer County, is a popular destination known for stunning natural surroundings, trails and water fun. It’s often considered the gateway to Lake Tahoe, since visitors can access many of the lake’s top attractions and activities from this dog-friendly town.
Tahoe City itself offers a range of comfortable accommodations, restaurants and local services for you and your furry friend. The community’s events and festivals are another reason to visit, attracting both locals and guests throughout the year. Read more stories about Tahoe City.
The dish on dog-friendly South Lake Tahoe
Just as Tahoe City is the gateway to Lake Tahoe’s north shore, South Lake Tahoe is the hub for many travel adventures on the lake’s southern shore. Here, you and your pup will find stunning lake views along with countless opportunities to swim, hike, explore by paddleboard, kayak around the lake, or simply relax.
Once you arrive in South Lake Tahoe, you’ll find a vibrant and bustling town with a wide range of dog-friendly places to stay. Exciting restaurants also welcome four-legged family members, and area businesses provide key services for pups and their people. Read more stories about South Lake Tahoe.
Sit, stay and play in Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes is a DogTrekker favorite located in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s known for its natural beauty, dog-friendly hiking trails and activities, and a range of accommodations and dining options. This is a truly friendly mountain town – and that means it’s people-friendly, adventure-friendly and very dog-friendly for visitors.
Team DogTrekker recommends that you start your Eastern Sierra adventure with a stroll around the Mammoth Lakes Town Loop. This easy paved trail takes you by the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center, where you can soak up some local knowledge as you outline your activities. Read more stories about Mammoth Lakes.
Big fun in Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino County might be an under-the-radar destination for Northern Californians, but in SoCal, it’s been a dear-to-the-heart, dog-friendly summer vacation magnet for more than a century. The city is named after Big Bear Lake, a picturesque alpine gem that’s a favorite for boating, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding and other water activities.
The village area of Big Bear Lake has several dog-friendly shops and restaurants with comfortable outdoor seating. Of course, there are plenty of pet-friendly hotels, cabins, and vacation rentals in Big Bear Lake, too. Read more stories about Big Bear Lake.
Please support DogTrekker partners who put stewardship first
Since our launch in 2011, DogTrekker.com has taken a holistic approach to protecting pups and park access across California, suggesting simple tips for thoughtful dog travel through our Leave Only Paw Prints initiative. In addition to minimizing the impact on wildlife and natural habitats, we create a safety net for pups. That’s especially important when you visit unfamiliar trails and beaches.
We salute our DogTrekker mountain partners who share our love of the wilderness and desire to protect California’s legendary landscapes for future generations. These include Placer County, home to Tahoe City, and Mammoth Lakes, which has been promoting responsible tourism practices for years.
Protecting both your dog and the environment is easy. Check out our six Leave Only Paw Prints® values as you plan your next adventure—whether you’re walking down the block or trekking in new terrain.