While most of the world has been at home, pets have been soaking up some serious quality time with their humans. They have become their human’s new co-worker, therapist, and best friend. What are these beloved pets to do when their people go back to work and spend free time traveling again? Humans, treat your pets to a vacation where there are wide open spaces, fresh mountain air, and off the grid adventures. Welcome to pet-friendly Tuolumne County located 2.5 hours from the Bay Area, where the Dog Days are waiting in Yosemite National Park, Gold Country, and the High Sierra.
Yosemite National Park is Paw-Some
Dogs are welcome in Yosemite National Park as long as they stick to paved roads and paths (unless it says otherwise). It’s no secret that dogs love road trips, and one of the most scenic road trips is up Highway 120/Tioga Pass (open seasonally) that winds through Yosemite National Park. Along this route, visitors can take in views at Olmsted Point, Tenaya Lake, and Tuolumne Meadows. Groveland, the gateway town into Yosemite, is a great place to explore with your four-legged friends. Explore the historic main street with many fun shops like Ranch Revived, Yosemite Adventure Supplies, the Iron Door Saloon which happens to be the longest continuously operating bar in California. Pets are welcome to stay at the Hotel Charlotte and relax at Mountain Sage Coffee and Nursery.
Have a Howlin’ Good Time in Gold Country
Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is home to the famous Sierra No. 3®, the popular steam engine that was used in many films and TV Shows, one of the most notable being Back to the Future III. Dogs are welcome to roam the park with their owners and if they’re well behaved, they can ride on the train. Columbia State Historic Park is full of history and pup-lovin’ adventures. Dogs can walk with their owners through the 1850s Gold Rush town and ride on the stagecoach, they might come in handy to scare off any gold robbing thieves! Historic Downtown Sonora is especially dog-friendly, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and lodging that welcome pets. They can stretch their legs on the Dragoon Gulch Trail. Located on the outskirts of the city center of Sonora, this system of trails lead up the rolling hillside with stunning views of the city. Visit Indigeny Reserve, a 160-acre apple orchard and distillery that brews local organic hard ciders. Although the hard cider might not be pet-friendly, the location is with hiking trails and picnic area.
Sniff-In the Fresh Mountain Air of the High Sierra
The Stanislaus National Forest is full of pup-friendly trails to hike. A local favorite is the Sugar Pine Railway Trail, an easy level 6-mile round trip trail that runs along the South Fork of the Stanislaus River. Rent a kayak or boat at the Pinecrest Lake Marina and take the doggo on a nice trek across the lake. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day soaking in the fresh water and mountain air. There is plenty of pet-friendly lodging accommodations in the High Sierra including the McCaffrey House Bed & Breakfast, the Pinecrest Chalet, and Lazy Z Resort.