Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park lies within the Tahoe National Forest just southwest of Lake Tahoe. The historic park boasts over 20 miles of trails, but only a fraction allow dogs: the Humbug Creek Trail, the Rim Trail, Slaughter House Trail and the North Bloomfield Town Trail.
The longest is the Rim Trail which skirts the upper rim of the Diggins, where miners used massive water guns to break down entire mountains in order to get to the gold hidden in them. This out-and-back trail of 3.3 miles requires a climb of about 865 feet through dense forest and rock formations. Once atop the ridge, you're treated to a birds-eye view of the man-made cliffs and skree left by the miners' destruction, as well as views of the surrounding Sierra Nevada foothills covered with chaparral. Several overlooks provide scenic photo ops of the landscape and sparkling lakes.
Humbug Creek Trail is about 2.75 miles, with an elevation gain of about 836 feet, and features quiet, shady landscape with the gentle burbling of a creek to guide you. Parts of the trail are steep narrow, with precipitous drop-offs, so be sure to keep Fido securely leashed and watch your footing. Boulder-scrambling is also a feature of this trail, but you're also treated to many wildflowers, lush moss, a view of Humbug Falls and rolling hills. Picnic areas and primitive camping sites dot the trail as well.
The North Bloomfield Town Trail is a short, even walk to the restored North Bloomfield ghost town where the gold mining industry for this area was headquartered. Today, the park office resides here, along with a museum and Visitor Center, and town tours are available for those interested in the history and geography of this area. The Slaughterhouse Trail, at about .6 mile, leads from the campground to the cemetery, which is still in use today but is the final resting ground for many of the town's dignitaries and miners' families as well.
While some of the trails in Molokoff Diggins Historic Park are off-limits to your fur-pup, you'll find lots to see on the moderately challenging trails that are open to you both.
These trails lie in an area of abundant wildlife, including rattlesnakes, bears and mountain lions. Keep food secure if camping, and be aware of your surroundings while hiking. There's also a lot of poison oak here, as well as ticks. Stay to the path, wear long sleeved shirts and pants and bring tick repellant for both you and your pooch.