Just past Highway 299 in Redding, California, the Buenaventura Trail starts out at Buenaventura Boulevard, across Sunflower Drive, and all the way to the Sacramento River and back. Most of the trail is crushed gravel, which is good on your pooch’s paws and your own feet as well. You can park on Sunflower Drive or at Tops Market, where it is free.
In the first several hundred feet, you and your pupper will be on a paved path as you make your way across a small bridge over Jenny Creek where you can see lots of pawfectly beautiful wildflowers. This is the first of 10 small bridges that you will pass over as the path winds over and around Jenny Creek, Gold Run Creek, and other small tributaries. When you reach Sunflower Drive, a bit further down the trail, the road turns to gravel and continues that way for the remainder of the hike.
The Buenaventura Trail follows along the banks of the Gold Run Creek, with the possibility of seeing tons of wildlife like deer, foxes, raccoons, many species of birds, and turtles. Use the “pack it in pack it out” rule, leaving nothing behind as you go. The trail is actually nicknamed 10 Bridges Trail because you will be going over 10 different bridges along the way.
As you and your fur buddy travel along the gravel path, you will find a few benches, and even a restroom or two for your convenience. There is no potable drinking water though, so bring your own. The walk toward the Sacramento River is relatively easy and all downhill, but on the way back, you will be gaining that altitude so save some of that energy for the return hike.
Your dog will enjoy sniffing the pawesome critter scents along the path, and you will love watching how excited your pupper gets about the wildlife. This is an easy and fun hike for you both, and you will likely want to come back again to see it at different times of the year.