Dog-friendly Hikes

Dog-friendly Hikes

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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 »

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 »

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 »

Moseying Around the Mojave

Photo Credit: @_decant
Photo Credit: @_decant

The name sounds intimidating, and the 1.6 million-acre Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County can certainly be that. But in winter, when T-shirt weather often prevails, it’s a delightful place to roam and take in rugged mountains, peaked cinder cones, seas of dunes, exotic plants and other sights. Dogs must be leashed (except when hunting)—a sensible idea considering the spines, thorns and snakes that are part of the rugged landscape. And there’s lots to see and experience, including the largest Joshua tree forests in the world in the Cine Dome and Shadow Valley areas. more »

Greater Palm Springs: Gateway to the Desert

Greater Palm Springs: Gateway to the Desert

If your vision of a wintertime vacation to the California desert includes purple mountains, exotic cacti, comfy resorts and dog-friendly things to do, you’ll hit the jackpot with Greater Palm Springs. The region hugging the Interstate 10 corridor cuts through five counties and encompasses not just the celeb-saturated city of Palm Springs, but the neighboring communities of Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Indio, La Quinta and Coachella. Greater Palm Springs is the gateway to California’s vast Desert Region and an ideal place to stage your getaway. Here’s how to get started. more »

San Francisco County’s GGNRA Bounty

Lands End Trail - Photo Credit: gastondog (CC)
Lands End Trail - Photo Credit: gastondog (CC)

In San Francisco, GGNRA lands wrap the shoreline almost all the way from Fort Mason in the north to Fort Funston in the south, with a few breaks along the way. Dogs and their people can enjoy miles-long leashed walks with ocean views and, at a few places, unclip their canine companions to chase the surf and run free. more »

Put Paws to GGNRA Paths in San Mateo County

Poppy at Mori Point - Photo Credit: @poppy_brittany_spoodle
Poppy at Mori Point - Photo Credit: @poppy_brittany_spoodle

People have walked their dogs, both on- and off-leash, for decades on the lands in San Mateo County that became part of the GGNRA after the National Park Service’s 1979 Pet Policy went into effect. While future privileges are up in the air, dog-walking access is safe for now. Here are some favorite places to go: more »

#LakeCountyStrong

Lake County - Photo Credit: @mollylynn21
Lake County - Photo Credit: @mollylynn21

Summer and fall pass you by? Winter is a wondrous time for both wine tasting and cashing in your hiking chips, so why not take a gamble on an off-the-grid, off-leash destination? We talked about Lake County as “Wine Country Done Differently” in a recent wine country issue, so let’s focus on one of the best places in California for wildlife watching, and at Cache Creek Natural Area, a patchwork of public lands west of Clear Lake, you’re likely to spot bald eagles roosting or soaring and some of California’s last wild tule elk roaming in the rough at this time of year. more »

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