Northern California dog friendly backpacking
September 14, 2017 2:14 PM   Subscribe

Where can I backpack with a dog in Northern California? I'm basically a novice but have done some camping and low stakes bikepacking and backpacking before.
posted by latkes to Travel & Transportation around California (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure if you already know this (or if you are looking for more specific answers), but National Forests are usually pretty dog friendly (i.e. allowing dogs on trails and at camp sites) especially when compared to national parks. There are many great National Forests in northern california, such as Klamath, Six Rivers and Plumas that should have fun backpacking trails. State parks tend to be more hit or miss on dog rules.
posted by mosschief at 2:33 PM on September 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

The BLM managed, northern half of the Lost Coast is a great place to go backpacking with a dog. If you hike on the beach (the standard coastal trail) be sure to bring booties, because the sand is sharp and hard on bare paws.
posted by rockindata at 3:26 PM on September 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just got back Tuesday from the Lost Coast. While it was breathtaking and I'm still daydreaming happily about the river otter we watched frolicking in the surf, the terrain is punishing; the deep sand and loose rocks make the hiking slow and challenging. Rattlesnakes were everywhere. We saw fresh bear tracks and scat along the whole length of the trail.

Underestimating how much time is needed to complete the intertidal zones before they become impassable would be at best a deeply, deeply frightening experience; at worst, it would be a fatal mistake.

Nothing about the Lost Coast is appropriate for a novice backpacker, human or dog.
posted by jesourie at 7:02 PM on September 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Basically in California you can backpack with dogs in only National Forests (including wilderness areas) and BLM land.

I recommend Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe (not particularly desolate, mind) as a good novice backpacking area - you can choose something mellow, and camp near a lake. Note that the elevation means that the season will be ending soon. Coastal areas are good year-round.
posted by Jaclyn at 8:44 PM on September 14, 2017

Response by poster: Hey, I didn't know about the National Forests. That has helped me research more effectively. I am planning to go to Mendocino National Forest in the Spring (didn't work for October because it was hunting season and prime hunting area, apparently) but I did take a great trip with my kid and dog to Los Padres National Forest. Thanks!
posted by latkes at 2:49 PM on December 11, 2017

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