Dog-friendly Hikes

Dog-friendly Hikes

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Into the Tuolumne County High Country

You coming? - Photo Credit: @namastenadine
You coming? - Photo Credit: @namastenadine

The Gold Rush-era prospectors who swarmed the Sierra Nevada foothills in the 1850s made an indelible mark on Tuolumne County, dotting the map with a string of settlements—Sonora, Columbia, Jamestown, Twain Harte, Groveland—that still have a boomtown feel, as well as a relaxed attitude toward dogs. more »

Hike, Splash, Camp at Tuolumne County Lakes

Table Mountain - Photo Credit: @weims_in_crime
Table Mountain - Photo Credit: @weims_in_crime

Tuolumne County is largely rural, with more places to hike, fish, camp and go boating with your dog than you can shake a stick at. Its scenic lakes are tucked into dramatic mountain canyons and bowls that add to the getting-away-from-it-all experience. Here’s a look at some prominent bodies of water where you and your pup can splash, hike and play. more »

Tuolumne County’s ‘Don’t Miss’ Family Attractions

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park - Photo Credit: @island_dog
Railtown 1897 State Historic Park - Photo Credit: @island_dog

If you’re traveling in Gold Country with family this summer, put Columbia State Historic Park on your “must visit” list. It’s a place where lasting memories are made. On weekends, you’ll encounter rumbling (and dog-friendly) stagecoaches, itinerant musicians, bonneted ladies in sweeping skirts, and swaggering, black-hatted characters who could go mano a mano with John Wayne. For city kids, this “Gold Rush town that never died” can be as much fun as Disneyland (well, almost). more »

Take a Spring Hike Around Redding

Take a Spring Hike Around Redding

Redding calls itself California’s Trail Capital, and for good reason: about 100 miles of dog-friendly trails, both paved and natural-surface, have been developed in and around the city through private and public partnerships. Spring is a particularly nice time to take in the views from the Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail, which traces the route of a historic waterworks that once supplied miners’ sluice boxes. Three bridges along the northern part of the path span gorges that gush with waterfalls in springtime and offer arresting views of Shasta Lake and Keswick Reservoir at any time of year.

Never heard of Keswick Reservoir? This river-like body of water stretching nine miles downstream from Shasta Dam is the iconic lake’s frigid, turquoise-blue afterbay. The recently paved and very scenic Sacramento River Rail Trail follows a historic railroad alignment for almost 11 miles along its western shore, offering views aplenty, multiple points of entry and ample opportunity to branch off onto dirt paths leading into the rugged hills. more »

Kissing the Santa Cruz Coast

Photo Credit: @mrkobeandme
Photo Credit: @mrkobeandme

Follow the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) along the Santa Cruz County coastline, and you’ll be tempted by 29 miles of beaches (15 of them dog-friendly) along the way. Only one, Mitchell’s Cove, is legally leash-free, and then only before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. But no worries: there are plenty of other strands to explore provided you keep a tether stretched between you. more »

Spring Rambles in the South Bay

Chasing waterfalls at  Uvas Canyon County Park <br/> Photo Credit: @adventuresofbearstorch
Chasing waterfalls at Uvas Canyon County Park
Photo Credit: @adventuresofbearstorch

South of San Francisco, you and your frisky pup have more velvety-green hills to wander in spring. Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve in the hills above San Carlos and Redwood City is one option that really sets tails a-waggin'. Off-leash play is allowed in a 17-acre parcel of this 366-acre San Mateo County preserve that was once the site of a tuberculosis sanitarium. All five miles of trails are dog-friendly, and on clear days you'll get a good view of the Santa Cruz Mountains. more »

Dog-Friendly Highway 20 Preserves Beckon In Spring

South Yuba River State Park <br/> Photo Credit: @ryno_in_california
South Yuba River State Park
Photo Credit: @ryno_in_california

The Sierra foothills cover hundreds of square miles, so your best bet for a wildflower-and-waterfalls weekend is to narrow down an itinerary. Our suggestion: take Highway 20 east out of Marysville (Sutter County) and spend a day or a weekend exploring several sites between there and Grass Valley/Nevada City, a distance of about 40 miles. more »

Chasing Cascades in the Bay Area

Sunol Regional Wilderness <br/> Photo Credit: @chico_the_boston_terrier
Sunol Regional Wilderness
Photo Credit: @chico_the_boston_terrier

From easy family hikes to certified huffer-puffers, the hills and streams of the San Francisco Bay Area are at their voluptuous best in spring. Short on time but need some fresh air for yourself, your dog and your kids? Head to Fairway Falls, a 30-foot seasonal gusher in Novato reached via a family-friendly, mile-long round trip. more »

Time Out for Tuolumne County (Yosemite North Entrance)

Koda Exploring Tuolumne County <br/>Photo Credit: @dorriya
Koda Exploring Tuolumne County
Photo Credit: @dorriya

The rugged country leading up to Yosemite’s Big Oak Flat (North) entrance boasts a pioneer history as rough-hewn as the landscape itself. Tuolumne County towns along the Highway 120/49 corridors—Oakdale, Columbia, Jamestown, Twain Hart, Groveland—still have a boomtown feel, and with it, a relaxed attitude toward dogs.

Columbia, “the Gold Rush town that refused to die,” is engagingly preserved as a state historic park, its 1850s ambience captured in an array of historic buildings. more »

Hike Your Tails Off

Pretty Pittie at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve - Photo Credit: @ac_sivs
Pretty Pittie at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve - Photo Credit: @ac_sivs

Oakland is surrounded by hills, and the hills—luscious green at this time of year—are laced with hiking trails. You don’t have to go far from downtown Oakland to access one of the close-in preserves managed by the East Bay Regional Park District, which oversees more than 65 open-space areas with 1,250 miles of trails between them. A perk you won’t find on many other public lands: more »

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