Looking pretty in Amador County. Photo: Diane (CC)
The history books don’t say much about the ruff 'n' ready canines that kept lonely miners company and guarded their claims back in the Gold Rush era. But it’s clear that dogs today are as welcome in Amador County as the tourists who swarm “The Heart of the Mother Lode” in search of rest, relaxation and scenery.
Elevations from 200 to 9,000 feet make Amador County one of the state’s most rugged. With a total population of less than 40,000, it’s also one of the most rural. All of which is great for DogTrekkers, who will find a sense of adventure in exploring the many “blue highways” and historic, dog-friendly towns—Plymouth, Ione, Sutter Creek, Jackson, Volcano, Amador City—dotting “them thar hills.”
If you enjoy visiting wineries, Amador County has more than a dozen venues that welcome four-legged visitors in their picnic areas and tasting rooms. And if your pet is one of those water-loving mutts who can’t pass a stream or a pond without wanting to jump in, here’s something new: a regulation-size DockDogs diving pool where your pup can learn to run, dive and perhaps advance to aquatic competition. The unusual water feature is a new offering at Gold Country Pet Resort & Training Center, a boarding and training facility just outside Ione. Drop-in visitors are welcome on weekends, and introductory classes are available to help your dog learn to enter and exit the pool.
Sutter Creek and Jackson are well known bed-and-breakfast havens, and DogTrekkers in search of cottage accommodations will also strike gold with private vacation rentals such as the family-friendly (including Fido, of course) Sutter Creek Cottage, situated right on Sutter Creek and just two blocks from Main Street’s half-mile-long strip of antiques stores, boutiques, tasting rooms and restaurants, many of them dog friendly.
For a big family get-together, take dogs, kids and Aunt Suzy to the Dog & Pony Ranch in Jackson, where you can spread out on 60 rural acres and enjoy a spacious home furnished with poured concrete floors, leather sofas and other features designed specifically to encourage and welcome canine guests.