Back in the “olden days,” families taking a summer vacation often stayed at rustic cabin resorts situated in the mountains near scenic lakes and streams. Many of these old-style places (along with a few new ones) survive in the Shasta Cascade, and many are so popular they can only be booked in blocks of a week or more in summertime. Come September, however, reservations open up, minimum-stay requirements are reduced and opportunity beckons. Here are six dog-friendly places—some rustic, others high end—that might be just right for a fall getaway.
• Trinity Alps Resort, on the Stuart Fork of the Trinity River northwest of Redding, dates to the 1920s, and folks are still coming here to hook rainbow and brown trout from the stream that flows right past its 50 one and two-bedroom cabins, each with sleeping veranda, bathroom, kitchen, picnic table and BBQ grill (BYO towels, bed linens or sleeping bags). All cabins are dog-friendly, as is the idyllic swimming hole on the river. Pets get special treatment Sept. 22-24, when a special Dog Lover’s Getaway package, $275, buys two nights in a cabin plus three Saturday meals and Sunday breakfast. A benefit dinner for the Trinity County Animal Shelter will be held that Friday night, and you’re of course welcome to buy tickets and attend.
• The Lakes Basin Recreation Area straddling Plumas and Sierra counties is truly a land of lakes, with more than four dozen pools of blue in granite-strewn, glacier-carved landscapes laced with hundreds of miles of dog-friendly hiking trails. Packer Lake Lodge is a Sierra classic tucked into a beautiful setting nine miles north of Sierra City. Some of the log cabins ringing the little lake are “sleeping rooms” only, while others have kitchens and other amenities. Fishing is a prime activity, and one rowboat per cabin is included in the price (yes, your dog is welcome to hop in). The restaurant is closed for repairs this season, but other places to eat can be found within a few miles. Open May to early October.
• In the same general area, near the town of Graeagle, Camp Layman is a rustic, family-owned cabin resort on the Feather River. Its 13 cabins vary in size, but all have private kitchens and baths, and all are pet-friendly. Guests relish the chance to hike, fish, swim or explore right outside the door. Open into mid-November, weather permitting.
• Also in the Graeagle area, the upscale Lodge at Whitehawk offers dog-friendly lodging in 14 cabins ranging in size from studios to deluxe two-bedrooms. Breakfast and Wi-Fi are included in the rates, and on Wednesdays, a “Paws on the Porch” dining program brings locals and guests together for outdoor fun with their pups. Tables on the deck are dog-friendly, and guests enjoy discounted rates at the Whitehawk Golf Course. Open through mid-October.
• Rounding out Graeagle’s roster of dog-friendly cabin properties is Gray Eagle Lodge, named by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of the top 10 American classic summer resorts. Welcoming families for almost 100 years, it offers dog-friendly accommodations in private cabins on the banks of a burbling creek at rates that include breakfast and dinner (for people, that is). Open until Oct. 1.
• Lodging units at Railroad Park Resort in the old logging town of Dunsmuir are nothing if not novel. Here you (and your dog) can sleep in remodeled caboose or a vintage cabin and relive the romantic days of railroading by exploring a notable collection of relics that include a steam-driven logging locomotive from the 1920s, an 1893 snow plow and numerous beautifully restored cars, including two that serve as a restaurant. Yes, it’s a railroad buff’s delight, but it’s also close to many other Shasta Cascade attractions, and it makes for some great photo opportunities! Closed in winter.