Yes, it will snow again — and when it does, you and your best friend will find groomed cross-country trails as well as limitless tracts of public lands to glide on. Be sure to check with these centers regarding their status prior to heading out.
Tahoe Donner Cross-Country Ski Center is offering a $50 dog pass this season (day passes are $5), with dogs welcome to accompany you on the Cup of Tea, Piece of Cake and Doggonit trails.
Among other developed XC ski areas that welcome dogs is Tahoe Cross Country, whose 65 kilometers of groomed trails include two pet-friendly tracks (no leash required for dogs under voice command) traversing eight kilometers of beginner and intermediate terrain. A dog pass is $5 a day, and poop bags and disposal bins are provided.
South of Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood XC & Snowshoe Center offers 80 kilometers of groomed track, separate lanes for skaters and snowshoers, and two trails—High Trail and Outer Loop—on which dogs are welcome. Day-use fee is $5, while a season pass is $25.
Hope Valley, about a half-hour south of South Lake Tahoe, is a wintertime magnet for DogTrekkers. Its 60 miles of trails, groomed and ungroomed, traverse national forest lands and are available to skiers and snowshoers free of charge. The place to park and get started is Hope Valley Outdoors, offering rentals, clinics, guided touring and warm hospitality.
Want to spend the night? Nearby Sorensen’s Resort has 10 pet-friendly, Christmas card-worthy cabins that welcome furry friends at no extra charge.
In the Mammoth Lakes area, 10 kilometers of groomed ski trails are open to skiers with canine companions in the vicinity of dog-friendly Tamarack Lodge. Snowshoe trails, also dog friendly, are maintained separately. Also in the Mammoth Lakes area, leashed canines are allowed on 15 kilometers of trails maintained by Rock Creek Lodge.