Nevada County hugs the northern side of the Interstate 80 corridor from just northeast of Auburn all the way to Truckee, harboring within its bounds a great variety of attractions for DogTrekkers. Our suggestion: Make base camp history-filled Nevada City, perhaps at the Northern Queen Inn, offering several styles of accommodations on 34 leg-stretching acres.
After breakfast in your cabin or at Broad Street Bistro, pack drinks, snacks and swimsuits and head 5.5 miles north on Highway 49 to the parking area for the Independence Trail. This easy and historically captivating route follows a reconstructed, Gold Rush-era mining-flume system skirting steep hillsides and bridging deep ravines. The 2.5-mile downstream section (west) leads to a fabulous series of Yuba River swimming holes at Jones Bar, with many splash spots where Sparky can cool off along the way.
The very rewarding Independence Trail is part of South Yuba River State Park, one of few state preserves in California to allow dogs outside of developed areas.
Back in Nevada City, don’t miss dinner at The Old 5 Mile House, a historic spot with a dog-friendly beer garden/patio area five miles east of town.