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Take a Hike At These 3 Dog-Friendly Trails

Jul 02, 2019 03:04PM

Greenwood Creek

This trail follows along the South Fork American River. Without an exact destination, you can wander along the river for as long as you like before setting up your picnic spot.

Greenwood Creek

DIRECTIONS: Take Salmon Falls Road to its end at Highway 49 and turn right (south) in the direction of Coloma. Travel 3.7 miles on Highway 49 and turn right into the parking area for Greenwood Creek, signed on the highway as “River Access.”

WHY WE LOVE IT: In the heat of summer, this hike gives you a way to cool off at the river without a long drive. There are a number of beaches you can reach from the many spur trails, making it a very family- and dog-friendly outing.


Lyons Creek Trail

Stroll along Lyons Creek and into Desolation Wilderness where you have the opportunity to continue into the wilderness and visit either Lyons Lake or Lake Sylvia, depending on the distance you wish to hike.

Lyons Creek Trail

DIRECTIONS: Heading east on Highway 50, turn left just 4.8 miles past Kyburz onto Wrights Road. Go 4 miles to the Lyons Creek Trailhead parking area on the right. At the trailhead, you’ll find a kiosk with a map and free day passes (fill out a pass and deposit the stub in the box).

WHY WE LOVE IT: There are a number of trail choices here depending on the length of hike you desire. You can stay along the creek and have a picnic or continue the entire 4.6 miles to Lake Sylvia. This month and next, the wildflowers are spectacular, but do remember insect repellant.


Penner Lake

This hike takes you by three other alpine lakes on your way to Penner. In just .1 mile you reach Carr Lake; at .3 miles you find Feeley Lake; and at 1.7 miles you could stop at Island Lake or continue a total of 3.2 miles to Penner Lake.

Penner Lake

DIRECTIONS: Off I-80 East, take Exit 161 for Highway 20 West. Continue on Highway 20 in the direction of Nevada City for 4.2 miles and turn right onto Bowman Lake Road. Drive 8.5 miles on Bowman Lake Road, crossing South Fork Yuba River and passing by Fuller Lake. Turn right at the sign for Lindsey, Feeley, and Carr Lakes—the road now becomes a mixture of dirt and rocks. Continue 2.1 miles and then follow the sign to Carr Lake, veering to the right. It’s another .7 miles to the parking area for the trailhead. 

WHY WE LOVE IT: Without too much elevation gain, you can reach a number of alpine lakes, making for a family- and dog-friendly adventure. Return in September or October for the fall colors, and in the spring for a snowshoe adventure. 


Local resident Debbi Preston has penned four dog-FRIENDLY HIKING books, including 57 Dog-Friendly Trails in California’s Foothills and the Sierra Nevada and “Tails” from the Trails.