Nimbus Fish Hatchery

Nimbus Fish Hatchery

2001 Nimbus Rd.
Rancho Cordova, California 95670
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Local Phone: (916) 358-2820

The Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center (not dog friendly) is open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weekends from 9-3 (closed Christmas Day). The raceways (dog friendly) are open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  daily. The self-guided Discovery Trail along the river is open from sunrise to sunset. Casual visitors do not require a reservation.

In early November through March, you and your pup can see salmon and steelhead spawning in the river and watch fish flopping furiously on the hatchery fish ladder. You can also buy fish food to feed the little ones in the hatchery holding tanks or on the raceway.

Free parking is a definite plus at the hatchery. The American River Trail, a 32-mile, paved promenade stretching all the way to Old Sacramento, runs by here, too. Follow it east under the Hazel Avenue bridge to Lake Natoma and proceed past the kiosk about a quarter-mile to the end of the parking lot. There you’ll pick up a hiking trail that quickly takes you into the woods bordering the lake. Or, follow the river downstream from the hatchery as far as your interest and Spot’s nose will take you. Fall foliage transforms the landscape, reaching its golden peak in early November. 

Getting there: The hatchery is just off Highway 50, 18 miles east of downtown Sacramento and five miles south of Folsom. Exit Highway 50 at Hazel Avenue, go north .7 miles, make a left-hand turn at Gold Country Boulevard and proceed 200 yards to the parking lot entrance on the right. Admission is free.

dogtrekker.com, dog friendly, Sacramento River, salmon, steelhead, American River Parkway, free tours, self guided

Lucas at American River Parkway - Photo Credit: @_lucas.sacul_
Lucas at American River Parkway - Photo Credit: @_lucas.sacul_
Highway 50 buzzes right through Rancho Cordova between Sacramento and Folsom, so unless you pull off to explore, you won’t know what you’re missing. Start, perhaps with an overnight stay at a dog-friendly hotel and get a complimentary Sierra Foothills Wine Tasting Passport good for two people at eight regional wineries that welcome dogs. more »
Historic Folsom: Gateway to the Gold Country
Visitors know Folsom for the song made famous by the Man in Black, but no one sings the blues once they get to this historic little city at the western gateway to California Gold Country. Folsom makes a great launching pad for forays into El Dorado County wine country and the Apple Hill region, where many dog-friendly adventures await. But it also has much to offer DogTrekkers in its own right—including a new, 2.5-mile trail and sculpture park named for Johnny Cash.

The Johnny Cash Trail connects to an extensive network of paved paths shared by cyclists, joggers and dog-walkers, while just outside town, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, which includes the separate Lake Natoma, have their own sets of pathways along with miles of shoreline where Sparky can swim and fetch sticks to his heart’s content. And that’s not to mention the American River Bike Trail hugging the river of the same name for 32 miles, all the way to downtown Sacramento. more »
Dog running free
Photo Credit: Eileen McFall (CC)
If you’re one for “spoke and wheel” getaways, the centrally located state capital makes a great hub for day trips throughout the region. Of course, you and Sparky might find so much to do that you won’t even want to leave town. more »
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