If you and your furry hiking buddy enjoy trekking through lands unspoiled by the advancement of civilization, head to the Mokelumne Wilderness for your next hike. There's a thirteen-mile loop trail running through the wilderness preserve which, when you hike it, will make you think you've entered the land that time forgot. On the Mokelumne Wilderness Trail, you'll be heading into some real wild backcountry, so go prepared with water, snacks and cleanup bags. For a day hike, you won't need a permit, but if you're planning on pitching a tent and staying the night, you will need a Mokelumne Wilderness Permit. They're free and are obtainable from the Amador Ranger Station in Pioneer.
To arrive at the trailhead, head west out of Kirkwood on the Carson Pass Highway in the direction of Jeff Davis Peak. Drive for around an hour, and you'll find the highway comes to an end just before it reaches Meadow Lake. Park there, leash your pup, and you're ready to set off. The moment you hit the trail the first thing you'll notice is the silence. It'll be just you, your fur buddy and nature all around you. Nothing mechanical is permitted in the wilderness, so the only noise you'll hear is the chirping of birds or the call of an animal. The trail is not maintained either, so the going might be tough in places.
You and your fur buddy will be hiking along a trail which winds along the side of pine-forested mountains with impressive views of peaks and lakes. The area is teeming with wildlife. You could spot deer, pine martens, badgers or coyotes. There's lots of reptile life too. Alligator lizards and pacific tree frogs are common sightings. You'll also see peregrine falcons and redtail hawks circling overhead and maybe even a bald eagle. Make sure your pup doesn't disturb any of the wildlife, and you'll have a pawsome hike!