California Off-leash Hikes With YOur Dog

Off-leash Hikes With Your Dog

California is the off-leash trail capital of the country. Throughout the state, you will find hundreds of miles of off-leash trails, fire roads and beaches where you and your pup can unleash and romp to your hearts content. This blog has been created to provide stories DogTrekker.com has written about these off-leash areas.

Have fun unleashed and be sure to send us photos and videos of your pup experiencing the great California outdoors.
 
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More In Marin

Maya and Loretta hike Mt. Tam <br/> Photo Credit: Dave Kendrick
Maya and Loretta hike Mt. Tam
Photo Credit: Dave Kendrick

Sure, there are many open-space tracts in Marin County where you and your dog can hike without being tied together. But there are more that offer big rewards in terms of scenery, even if your tail-wagger has to stay leashed. The Marin Municipal Water District maintains seven reservoirs, most within the Mount Tamalpais watershed, that make for great outings. You won’t run out of places to roam, as dogs are allowed to accompany you on most of the 130 miles of trails and unpaved roads on district lands. more »

Set the Scene in Santa Cruz County

Loki in Santa Cruz. Photo Credit: Kim Williams
Loki in Santa Cruz. Photo Credit: Kim Williams

Just a short hop south of the Bay Area, Santa Cruz County is diverse and exceedingly dog-friendly. Variety is the name of the game when it comes to dog-friendly lodging and dining—as well as other options for a yappy, outdoor-centric getaway. Here are some suggestions to get tails a’wagging. more »

Dogs Ride and Hike Free at Squaw Valley

Photo Credit: Nathan Kendall
Photo Credit: Nathan Kendall

Lake Tahoe is at its glorious best in summer, but you have to be a very early riser to get a parking spot at a dog-friendly beach on weekends. Our advice: Sleep in, then head for High Camp, the high-altitude recreation complex at Squaw Valley USA, where a pool, hot tub, roller rink, limitless hiking options and plenty of free parking await. There are two ways up: the dog-friendly Shirley Lake Trail or the iconic (and dog-friendly) aerial trammore »

East Bay Hikes for Fresh-Air Fiends

Sunol Regional Wilderness. Photo Credit: @rufiosf
Sunol Regional Wilderness. Photo Credit: @rufiosf

Don’t come to Oakland or the Tri-Valley without your hiking shoes! You’ll need them, along with a leash, to explore open-space preserves more »

Close Encounters in Nevada County

Two dogs in boat in California
Baxter and Montana in Nevada County. Photo: Bob White (CC)
Truckee, Grass Valley, Nevada City…. some of Northern California’s favorite dog-friendly vacation destinations are situated along the Highway 49 and Interstate 80 corridors in Nevada County. Historic Nevada City, with its hopping downtown and dog-friendly lodging, makes a great base for a weekend getaway. more »

Riverside Romps

Truckee River
Truckee River. Photo: Karen (CC)
If you and your pup prefer paved trails to dirt ones, seek out the Truckee River Legacy Trail next time you head up to Lake Tahoe. Your furry companion will enjoy meet-and-greets with lots of other canines out for morning walks with their people, and you’ll enjoy watching the river roll by. The paved trail hugs the river for 2.5 miles northeast of Truckee River Regional Park, just outside the downtown district. Eventually, it will extend from Donner Memorial State Park to the community of Glenshire. more »

Park and Play

Sno-Park
You want to spend as much time as possible playing in the mountains, so why waste your energy looking for a place to park?  Whether there’s snow up to your eyeballs or not a flake to be seen, you’ll enjoy easy access to prime snow-play areas and skiing/hiking trails with a Sno-Park permitmore »

Diamond in the Ruff

Ghost Tunnel, Black Diamond Mines - Nick Fullerton (CC)
Ghost Tunnel, Black Diamond Mines - Photo: Nick Fullerton (CC)
From the late 1800s to the early 1990s, as many as 900 miners at a time labored to remove nearly 4 million tons of coal—“black diamonds”—from the ground in what is now Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve near Antioch in Contra Costa County.

As interesting for its human history and artifacts (mine shafts, cemeteries, crumbled buildings) as for its 65 miles of pet-friendly trails, this 5,375-acre open-space oasis, part of the East Bay Regional Park District, is an off-the-beaten-track find for DogTrekkers.

The hilly, oak-studded landscape reminiscent of the Sierra foothills melds into oak chaparral and evergreen forest to keep things interesting for you and Daisy. more »

Highway 50 is Nifty

Hiking Carson Pass

Hiking Carson Pass - Photo Dean in SF

From Sacramento and the Bay Area, Highway 50 is the main artery leading to and from South Lake Tahoe. On Friday and Sunday afternoons it can be busy, indeed, and not much fun to drive. What many travelers don’t realize, however, is how many great recreation spots are situated along the way. more »

Settle Into South Shore

Kona at Fireside Lodge
Kona at Fireside Lodge
Where to stay is always the first consideration for DogTrekkers on overnight quests, and in South Shore there’s something for every budget, from the luxe Fireside Lodge B&B to the basic but well located Motel 6. In between, we’re partial to Spruce Grove Cabins just off Ski Run Boulevard at the foot of Heavenly Mountain Resort; Holly’s Place, a cabin property on two securely fenced acres; and 3 Peaks Resort, a comfy, mountain-style hotel a few short blocks inland. more »

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