Come Visit . . . And Bring the Dog

By Shanie Matthews | Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pure excitement is exuding from every fur follicle on your beloved canine’s body. The tail is wagging ferociously. The gigantic smile that spans from one floppy ear to the other seems to encompass her entire face. It is safe to say that for your pup, Lake Tahoe truly is the tail wagging the dog.

Lake Tahoe is a doggy paradise. If you’re visiting the area and you leave your four-legged companion at home, you have done him or her an injustice. There may not be any other place on the planet better for dogs than Lake Tahoe.

For the locals, the love that Tahoe offers to dogs is an absolute given. In fact, many people move to Tahoe because the area is a dog’s best friend. There is, literally, a dog’s lifetime’s worth of fun to have in the nooks and crannies here. Add to that the lack of ticks, fleas, rattle snakes and outrageously hot weather, and it is easy to see why this area is a place of delight for our four-leggers.

Of course that joy extends to visitors with canine companions, with a little help from those in the know. It can be a bit overwhelming choosing the best beaches (there are a few Lake Tahoe beaches that don’t allow dogs), trails and places to take your dog to dine – yes, dine!

One business that has taken it upon itself to offer extensive services to visitors with four-legged kiddos is Tahoe Moon Properties. A vacation rental company offering more than 50 dog-friendly homes, they take the love to the next level, giving each guest a dog basket filled with doggy necessities, dog blankets and towels, pick-up baggies, lint brushes (for our shedding friends) and a dog-friendly guide book to Tahoe. 

The folks at Tahoe Moon are dog lovers. Knowing the ins and outs of where to go and when to go is their specialty. “Not only are there a multitude of both winter and summer activities for us humans, but there are also many places to enjoy activities with your dog. Hundreds of dog owners visit Lake Tahoe each year with their furry friends, and you will find it hard to find a resident who doesn’t have their own pup. In addition to the outdoor splendors for dogs, there are a huge number of rentals, hotels, restaurants and pet lodges that welcome your four-legged friends.” Tahoe Moon’s expertise is a huge help in making sure your time in Lake Tahoe is spent having fun instead of researching where to have fun.

For example, one of the great aspects to Lake Tahoe and the surrounding basin is the plethora of beaches to explore. From the sandy beaches of Lake Tahoe proper to the mountain lakes that frame the backcountry trails, from Truckee’s Donner Lake to the reservoirs that dot the landscape, there are swim spots galore for dogs to enjoy. Jaimee, manager at Tahoe Moon, has experienced the fun factor that comes with swimming with her dog in lakes around the area. “One of my favorite memories is taking my dogs to Donner Lake (there is a special dog beach where all the dogs hang out and swim), and my youngest one, Bowie, swam on his own to a little island for the first time, and the whole beach started clapping for his big puppy achievement.”

A true highlight of Lake Tahoe for any hound is the abundance of hiking trails. From multi-day excursions that interlace old-growth forests, mountain lakes and robust streams to leisure day hikes that meander through open meadows, the basin is filled with every type of hike possible. You can even ride a tram up and hike down at different ski areas around the basin to help with time and energy conservation. When it comes to choosing which trails are worthy, Jaimee offers some advice. “Page Meadows, part of the Tahoe National Forest, is an easy and beautiful hiking area on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. It’s great for snowshoe beginners in the winter and wildflower enthusiasts in the spring and summer. It's also a great place for dogs and views, offering wide-open panoramas of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra crest.” 

Another hike she recommends is a fabulous day excursion. “The Brockway to Watson Lake trail is 13.4 miles round trip and is classified as a strenuous hike. The Brockway trailhead is on Highway 267 about a half-mile south of the summit. This dog-friendly trail is open to mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians. For the first 4.5 miles there are gentle ups and downs through white fir and Jeffrey pine forest. In this section you will cross several forest service roads (including FSR 73, commonly known as the Fiberboard Freeway); make sure you are rejoining the actual trail after each of these junctions. After the initial 4.5 miles there is a short 90-yard spur trail on your left-hand side that takes you to a large rock pile that offers spectacular views of Lake Tahoe. During the next 2.2 miles, you will be heading gently up through beautiful wildflower meadows and forested areas. After passing several streams, you’ll arrive at Watson Lake.”

With all the fun Tahoe offers a dog and his or her owner, it’s safe to say that the joy is in the making. Whether you’re enjoying a serene beach setting with your pup or a sweaty afternoon hiking, your dog will be wagging its tail in appreciation for it. Or as said by Jaimee, “Tahoe is one of the best places to bring your fur friends, just make sure they have lots of water and a comfortable place to sleep because they’ll need it after a fun day in Tahoe. Also don’t be afraid to ask locals the best places to bring your dogs because we know all the insider scoop!”

(530) 581-2771
3045 Martin Dr.
Tahoe City, California 96145

About the Author Shanie Matthews
A longtime Lake Tahoe local, Shanie is a freelance writer, Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher and positivity warrior. A true lover of the the gorgeous Tahoe region, she connects with the serenity of the mountains via skiing, biking and backpacking. She also believes in the gift of yoga and its way of allowing one to become his or her true best self, a passion she shares with the world with her online yoga studio.