loading image  Loading... Please wait...

Kurgo Dog Blog

Dog-Friendly Hikes: Northern California

Posted by

Far away from any large cities (it’s a four-hour drive to San Francisco), northern California offers an abundance of spectacular hikes with fewer crowds, swimming holes aplenty, and pristine wilderness. Here are some of our favorite dog-friendly hikes. Tell us yours in the comments below! Make sure you are prepared for hiking by checking our  hiking with dogs checklist.

Easy

Potem Falls (Shasta Trinity National Forest) – Escape the summer heat with a trip to Potem Falls, com

McCall Falls Hiking

plete with a swimming hole at the base of the 70-foot falls. The hike is super short (just 0.4 miles), but worth it for the easy access. Head there mid-week for a chance to have it all to yourself.

McCloud Waterfalls (Mt. Shasta/Medicine Lake) – If you like mountains, high desert, diverse flora and fauna, and waterfalls, then this is the hike for you. A set of three waterfalls, the lower falls is popular among swimmers who want to cool off in the summer heat. Continue to the more impressive Middle and Upper Falls.

Lake Siskiyou Trail (Mt. Shasta) – Mt. Shasta towers above the lake on this easy 7-mile hike, offering one of the most scenic views in all of northern California. The shaded trail provides a nice escape from hot weather. Note that a seasonal wooden bridge crosses the Sacramento River, otherwise the trail ends up being 9 miles. Bring a kayak or paddleboard and get in the water.

Moderate

Kanaka Peak (Whiskeytown National Recreation Area) – This challenging uphill climb is worth the 1,100-foot climb for the beautiful 360° views from the peak. In the spring, colorful wildflowers blossom, guiding your way across creek crossings and lightly-trafficked 8-mile roundtrip janut. Take a rest in the shade on the bench near the top, before summiting the exposed peak. Beware of ticks and check your dog thoroughly after you finish.

Heart Lake (Mt. Shasta) – Don’t let the short 2-mile out and back trail deter you from considering this moderate hike. Take in one of the best views of nearby mountains like Shasta, Black Butte, and Mt. Ashland from the lake. Accessible year round, bring snow shoes in the winter in case the trail is not packed down.

Seven Lakes Basin via the PCT (Shasta Trinity National Forest) – Take in the various

mountain views throughout this pleasant hike. In addition to the sweeping vistas of the Klamath Mountains, this six-mile roundtrip hike offers swimming options and plenty of spots to relax and enjoy the scenery and solitude.

Deadfall Lakes + Mt. Eddy (Trinity Alps + Marble Mountain Wilderness) – A favorite among local hikers, this hike begins in a meadow before ascending into the glacier-carved Deadfall Basin. Continue on to Upper Deadfall Lake for a lunchbreak with the best views of Mt. Eddy. With the energy from the rest and a bit of food, push on to the peak of Deadfall Summit (8,020 feet) and Mt. Eddy, just 1.1 miles beyond. Now you can say that you’ve hiked to the top of the tallest mountain west of I-5!

Difficult

Big Bear Lake Trail – (Trinity Alps Wilderness) – Break up this steep 10-mile round trip hike by backpacking in and camping by the crystal clear waters of Big Bear Lake. If you’re staying the night, be sure to pick up a wilderness permit from a ranger station. If you have the energy, continue 3.1 miles to Little Bear Lake.

Castle Lake Trail to Mt. Bradley (Mt. Shasta) – Brave the hoards at Castle Lake to find solace and spectacular views at the peak of Mt. Bradley. Hiking beyond Castle Lake, this trail is one of the least-visited in the region. The long ridge walk means nearly constant stunning vistas in all directions.

Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek Route (Mt. Shasta) – While you’re in the shadow of Mt. Shasta, why not give it a go to the top? For experienced hikers only, the Clear Creek route offers the least technical way to the summit. Take at least two days to enjoy the trek and acclimate by camping at Clear Creek Meadows and wake up early for a sunrise approach. The climb to the top can be grueling and is straight up, but the views of Oregon and California from 14,180 feet are unparalleled. All users must first obtain a climbing permit from the ranger station. 


Jen Sotolongo is a writer and photographer and runs Long Haul Trekkers, a blog about independent, responsible travel with a pet. Over the past few years, she and her partner have taken their dog, Sora on a cycle tour spanning across Europe and South America, proving that adventures can include your dog, no matter where in the world they may be.

View Comments


Dog Hiking Checklist

Here at Kurgo, we love exploring the outdoors with our dogs. Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and discover a new area together. Whether you're planning an an hour-long trek or a full day hike, make sure you're prepared! Using our Dog Hiking Checklist is a great place to start and check [...]

Read More »


Backpacking with Your Dog Infographic

Heading out hiking and backpacking with your pup can be one of the most satisfying and joyful ways to spend time together. If you love hiking then your dog is going to have THE best time ever! And hiking together in the wild will be one of the only times you are both totally in your element. But if [...]

Read More »


Car Camping vs. Backpacking with Your Dog

Car camping or backpacking with your dog is the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors while strengthening your bond with your canine companion. There’s nothing quite like spending a night under the stars after enjoying some hot chocolate and s’mores by the campfire. Traditionally, car camping is thought of as spending a night at a campground where you can [...]

Read More »


Dog-Friendly Hikes: Colorado

Just about every trail in Colorado is dog-friendly outside of Rocky National Park. Luckily, there is no shortage of great hikes in this western state known for its golden aspen trees, wildflowers, and multitude of accessible 14-foot peaks.EasySt. Mary’s Glacier (Idaho Springs) — This 1.5-mile hike, located just an hour from Denver packs a lot into its short distance. Ascend through [...]

Read More »


Gift Guide for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Click item to view product details page. Journey Harness: Active harness built for walking, hiking, running and beyond. Ascender Leash: Durable, waterproof leash that adjust into five different configurations.Mud Dog Shower: Shower your dog anywhere and at any time by using this portable dog shower.Loft Coat: Reversible, quilted jacket made from rugged MicrotomicTM ripstop material and 140 gsm Polytech fill. Water-resistant [...]

Read More »


​7 Ways to Stay Active During the Holidays

With the holidays approaching, so too are the cookies, parties, and big meals. This affects our pups, too. With family and friends around, there are more people sneaking treats and table scraps to our dogs without us realizing.Cold temperatures and shorter days make outdoor activities less desirable, which actually makes it a great time to get out with your dog. [...]

Read More »


Dog-Friendly Hikes: Arizona

Arizona offers some of the best year-round hiking in the country, especially when the cold and snow leave you trapped inside during the winter months. With a wide variety of easy to challenging trails, Discover beautiful desert hiking with plenty of swimming holes, red rocks, and views close to major cities like Phoenix, Sedona, and Flagstaff. Should you plan [...]

Read More »


6 Necessities Your Dog Shouldn't Hike Without

Hiking with your dog is fun and rewarding, but there are a few essentials to keep in mind before getting that tail on the trail! Before you head out, do your research. Make sure the area you're traveling to allows dogs and find out what their leash laws are. Look up the weather and trail conditions. To help you [...]

Read More »


​5 Hiking Dogs to Follow on Instagram

Here at Kurgo, we're all about enjoying life together with your dog. Many people love exploring the outdoors with their pups, especially during the warmer months. We talked with a few of our favorite Instagram friends to see what they love most about hiking with their dogs. Here’s what they had to say:Atlas the Adventure Dog: @atlastheadventuredogFavorite month to hike with [...]

Read More »