For some pawtastic hiking in the heart of the Sequoia National Forest, you and your pup should check out the Jackass Creek Trail, or Forest Route 35E13. This 5.5 mile trail takes you through the pawmazing Sequoia National Forest to the Jackass Peak in the Sierra National Forest, and follows the Jackass Creek for some of the journey.
Starting at the Fish Creek Campground in the Kern River Ranger District, and right off of Sherman Pass Road, also called Forest Route 22S05, near the intersection of the Fish Creek Campground Road, and Forest Route 21S33, the Jackass Creek Trail can be found just west of 21S33. Since there aren't any amenities along the hike, be sure to stock up on water to share with your pup at the Fish Creek Campground, as well as clean-up bags and snacks. Take this trail north away from the campground to start your adventure.
This hike is not for the faint of heart as there are a lot of steep climbs and rocky areas. Within the first half mile, you will already be feeling the workout as the steep incline lets you know you are climbing higher. Along the way, you and your fur baby will be climbing mountainous areas and walking down steep grades, crossing several creeks, and climbing over large rocks and boulders. This is an excellent hike with a stellar view of the Sequoia wildlife area and California mountains.
As you and your pooch trek along the west side of Jackass Meadow in the Sierra National Forest, you will be surrounded by oak and pine trees, and an amazing array of different kinds of colorful wildflowers. Some that you may recognize include buttercups, blue iris, sunflowers, poppies, orchids, and lilacs. If you are quiet, you will most likely cross paths with many forest creatures such as sheep, deer, elk, foxes, chipmunks, badgers, and many varieties of birds. The Meadow does offer camping from May 24th to September 22nd. The trail ends further north, right below the Jackass Peak on the Albanita Trail, also called Forest Route 35E06, inside the Sierra National Forest in the South Sierra Wilderness area.
The trail is open from May through November, and welcomes your furry family members so long as they stay on a leash no longer than six feet long. You will be sharing the path with mountain bikers and motorcycles, but generally, it is not heavily populated at any time of the year. If you intend to camp or make a fire, be sure to get a permit for either the Sequoia or Sierra National Forest. Also note that dogs are not allowed on any swimming beaches, so be sure to take them further down the creek for a dip.
For a gorgeous hike among some of the earth's most beautiful and ancient forests, check out the Jackass Creek Trail with your pup!