Dog-friendly California Gold Country

California Gold Country

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Placer County

Hidden Falls Regional Park - Photo Credit: @lillyshertigal
Hidden Falls Regional Park - Photo Credit: @lillyshertigal

Hundreds of square miles of national forests and other public lands make Placer County a DogTrekker hotspot. Highway 49 runs south from Auburn, the county seat, to access 35,000-acre Auburn State Recreation Area hugging two forks of the American River. Hidden Falls Regional Park is delightful in fall even if the falls aren’t running, while at Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park, you can hike to the river and watch the whitewater rafters go by. more »

El Dorado County

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park <br/> Photo Credit: @leave_only_pawprints
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Photo Credit: @leave_only_pawprints

Named for the mythical city of gold, El Dorado County epitomizes California Gold Country. Its county seat, Placerville, is named for the alluvial deposits in the American River where many a miner struck it rich. The town of Placerville also makes for an interesting visit with its dog-welcoming restaurants, shops and a historic and dog-friendly hotel, Cary House, right in the middle of the action. Read more about El Dorado County in last week’s Highway 50 Gold Country issue. more »

Sierra County

Downieville, California <br/> Photo Credit: @bernies_best
Downieville, California
Photo Credit: @bernies_best

Historic Highway 49 in the north starts in the Sierra County town of Vinton and winds south through a mountainous region where the rivers still run free. Even during the summer high season, this county of fewer than 4,000 souls is off the beaten track for most visitors. In fall, it can feel like your own private realm. Set up basecamp in Downieville, a Gold-Rush town on the Yuba River, and prepare to be charmed. more »

Calaveras County

Glory Hole Recreation Area <br/> Photo Credit: @stacydwinter
Glory Hole Recreation Area
Photo Credit: @stacydwinter

Calaveras County became known in 1800s for its rich gold deposits—and for a certain jumping frog memorialized in a short story by Mark Twain. Today, it’s a destination for Gold Rush tourists, campers, skiers, hikers and adventure seekers, many of whom wouldn’t think of heading into “them ‘thar hills” without their dogs. Angel’s Camp on Highway 49 and Murphys ?on nearby Highway 4 are the principal destinations in these parts. more »

Amador County

Shenandoah Valley, Amador County <br/> Photo Credit: @jeffersonthedood
Shenandoah Valley, Amador County
Photo Credit: @jeffersonthedood

Follow Highway 49 south through Amador County for yet another take on Gold Country. You’ll find lodging at historic, dog-friendly establishments like Hanford House in Sutter Creek, the Imperial Hotel in Amador City and the St. George Hotel in the historic hamlet of Volcano, as well as contemporary Days Inn and Best Western properties. You’ll want to make a weekend of it, as the No. 1 attractions, wine and food, demand lingering. more »

Turquoise Blue Persuasion in Pollock Pines

Maci at Sly Park Recreation Area - Photo Credit: @maci_explores2
Maci at Sly Park Recreation Area - Photo Credit: @maci_explores2

Once you reach Pollock Pines on Highway 50, you’re deep into Gold Country. And on a hot summer day, nothing could be more appealing than a dip in a turquoise-blue lake and a hike around it with your four-legged friend. Jenkinson Lake is the centerpiece of 650-acre Sly Park Recreation Area, and it’s gorgeous. more »

Up the Hill in Placerville With Your Furry Sidekick

Lucy hoping for a bite at Jack Russell Brewery. <br/> Photo Credit: @tbutcherskitchen
Lucy hoping for a bite at Jack Russell Brewery.
Photo Credit: @tbutcherskitchen

The El Dorado County seat was named for the alluvial deposits that drew prospectors here during the Gold Rush. It’s nickname, “Hangtown,” relates to the lawlessness of the times. Today, however, it’s one of the most picturesque, bustling and dog-friendly of Gold Country towns. more »

Summer Fun With Your Pup in Folsom

Meats exploring the Johnny Cash Trail - Photo Credit: @finnifsk8
Meats exploring the Johnny Cash Trail - Photo Credit: @finnifsk8

History, a vibrant dining scene and outdoor recreation options galore beckon in this gateway to California Gold Country. Folsom’s nucleus is its handsomely revitalized Old Town district, centered on Sutter Street and great for an anytime stroll or sit-down with your four-legged friend. more »

Lots New to See and Do in Rancho Cordova

Lucas at American River Parkway - Photo Credit: @_lucas.sacul_
Lucas at American River Parkway - Photo Credit: @_lucas.sacul_

Highway 50 buzzes right through Rancho Cordova between Sacramento and Folsom, so unless you pull off to explore, you won’t know what you’re missing. Start, perhaps with an overnight stay at a dog-friendly hotel and get a complimentary Sierra Foothills Wine Tasting Passport good for two people at eight regional wineries that welcome dogs. more »

Cool Your Jets (and Your Pets) in Sacramento

Fiona cooling off at Two Rivers Cider Company <br/> Photo Credit: @fiona_the_rascal
Fiona cooling off at Two Rivers Cider Company
Photo Credit: @fiona_the_rascal

Sacramento is hot, hot, hot—and we’re not talking summer weather. The restaurant and craft brewery scene here has exploded of late, and thanks to a (usually) mild climate, outdoor dining is ubiquitous, and almost every restaurant and brewery patio in town is dog-friendly. more »

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