Baxter and Montana in Nevada County. Photo: Bob White (CC)
North Lake Tahoe, 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. You and your pup can bed down in comfy quarters at the Broad Street Inn or Outside Inn, and both of you will be more than welcome at local restaurants including Broad Street Bistro, California Organics and the Old 5 Mile House. You’ll meet lots of other dog owners walking with their pets at Pioneer Park. For off-leash fun, head to Dogs Run Free Dog Park in nearby Grass Valley. Better yet, head out of town to one of the many trails lacing the surrounding hills.
Dogs especially love clambering over the reconstructed wooden flumes that make the Independence Trail in South Yuba River State Park so unique. And it's OK for their people to go slow, as this is truly a trail for all, from wheelchair users to hard-body hikers who use it as a jumping-off point for more strenuous pursuits. Go west from the trailhead for about a mile to encounter the highlight, a 520-foot-long switchback ramp leading to a scenic swimming hole where Rover can splash while you dip your feet. The east branch of the trail features ravine-bridging flumes and dizzying views.