New Melones Lake and Recreation

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Trail Distance: 0.5 miles
Time Estimate: 20 min +
Elevation Gain: 1 foot
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Easy
Parking: Free
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: Yes
Description

A must-do hike for you and your pup in the Sierra Nevada foothills has got to be in the New Melones Lake and Recreation Area in the city of Sonora.  This area boasts an extensive system of trail for hikers, pups and bicyclists. 

The best place to start is at the New Melones Lake Visitor’s Center. Here you will find a map with all the information about amenities and the trails that are offered. Park at the lot and start your hike on the first of many trailheads located throughout this recreation area.

The Norwegian Gulch Trail features a sneak peak of the lake with its 0.5-mile hike. This easy-rated trail is the perfect start to the beginning of your day and is great for newbie hiker pups. This is just a warm up of what is yet to be discovered. There is a total of 19 trails from ‘easy’ to ‘challenging’ around the 12,500-acre lake. Check out the moderately-rated Gold Rush Trail which will take you throughout the area for 2 miles, or the 4-mile challenge called the Peoria Mountain Trail. 

Each offers natural footing, spectacular views of the area, and forested, as well as open spaces, to enjoy. Wildlife is prevalent here, and with so many choices of trails, you will most likely not see too many other hikers on any given day. This makes for some quality, quiet time for you and your pup. You both can even join the ranger-led hikes which require no fees or reservations. 

Other amenities of this recreation area including top-notch fishing along the shores of the lake. Picnic facilities are scattered throughout, so why not bring a lunch to share? Restrooms and drinking fountains are located at each trailhead and in the campgrounds, so be sure to bring a bowl for your pup. Pups are welcome everywhere on leash, but be sure to have clean up bags handy.

Check out the New Melones Lake and Recreation Area with Fido today, where endless hiking opportunities abound.

Trail Features
Forest, Steep Inclines, Diverse Landscape, Easy Incline, Lake
Abundant Wildlife, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
The summers can be hot and humid. Please bring appropriate insect repellent to protect yourselves.
Address
6850 Studhorse Flat Rd.
Sonora, CA 95370
Hours
Mon 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tue 4:00 AM - 1:42 PM
Wed 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thu 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Fri 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sat 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sun 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
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Address
6850 Studhorse Flat Rd.
Sonora, CA 95370
Hours
Mon 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tue 4:00 AM - 1:42 PM
Wed 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thu 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Fri 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sat 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sun 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM