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Sacramento Boomer

Take a Hike: 3 Dog-Friendly Trails

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.
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, but not extremely rutted. 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. Visit in the spring for a snowshoe adventure, and in the fall for changing colors.
Lyons Creek Trail


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.
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 at the kiosk).
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.


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.
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 are for Greenwood Creek; signed on the highway as “River Access.”
WHY WE LOVE IT: Picnic tables are abundant, and there are a number of beaches you can reach from the many spur trails, making this a very family- and dog-friendly outing.

By Debbi Preston

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