South of Lake Tahoe, along the Highway 88/Carson Pass corridor, a string of silvery lakes tucked into a rugged mountain landscape beckon DogTrekkers who want to get into the high country one last time before the snow flies.
Silver Lake, Caples Lake and Bear River Reservoir offer national forest campgrounds as well as privately-operated recreation facilities and access to vast wilderness areas. If you need a roof over your head during your visit, you'll find a good selection of pet-friendly vacation rentals in the vicinity of Kirkwood and Pioneer. Sorensen's Resort in the gorgeous Hope Valley area at the junction of Highways 88 and 89 is open year-round and offers cozy cabins where dogs are welcome at no extra charge. Photographers flock here to frame images of expansive stands of quaking aspens whose coin-shaped leaves shimmer golden for a few short weeks each autumn.
When it comes to hiking in this trail-rich area, our paws gravitate to the Hope Valley Overlook trail, which begins just behind Sorensen's and leads to the edge of a steep cliff offering panoramic views. From the spillway trailhead at Caples Lake, the hike to Emigrant Lake in the Mokelumne Wilderness is justifiably popular due in part to the spectacular scenery and in part to the fact that its 4.3-mile length has less than 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Craving something easier still? The 5-mile round trip to Lake Margaret rewards with easy terrain and a granite-bound lake as pretty as any in the Sierra.
Photo: "Barn at Hope Valley" – Tim Vo (CC)