Snow Play in the Sierras
Most dogs love to play in the snow since they don't get too hot, even during long fetch sessions. Some breeds like Huskies were made for winter conditions though other short-coated breeds may need some protection on colder days.
A short drive up Hwy 88 from the Dog & Pony Ranch will give you various opportunities to pull off and enjoy some snow time (30-60 minutes depending on snow elevations). It is so much fun to watch pups "porpoise" through the snow!
Bear River Reservoir (33 miles)
Bear River is one of our favorite locations to find a private meadow of fresh snow to romp through or to take a scenic hike on the jeep trails like in these photos. Just find a side road off Bear River Rd like where we park at GPS 38.548460, -120.273640.
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Iron Mountain SNO-PARK (40 miles)
Several SNO-PARK sites are up the hill from the Dog & Pony Ranch including the closest off Hwy 88 at Iron Mountain with a few more just past Kirkwood. The sites have cleared parking areas and access to multiple activities you can do with your dog such as cross-county skiing, snowshoeing, sledding or just playing with your dogs in the snow. See more info about the California SNO-PARKS.
Kirkwood Meadows (52 miles)
Another favorite place to play in the snow is the large meadow behind the houses and condos like in these Kirkwood photos. We usually park in the lot across from Timber Creek lodge for easy meadows access (see Kirkwood map). The meadows are also used by cross-country skiers so you may need to keep your dogs out of their way.
Kirkwood is a great option if you also want to enjoy some snowboarding, downhill or cross country skiing. We often play with the dogs when arriving at Kirkwood for the day, then let them nap in blankets in the car while we hit the slopes, with a couple of ski breaks to let our dogs out to enjoy the snow as well. Or if you cross country ski, you and your well-behaved dogs can hit the trails at the same time!