If you’re looking for a pawsitively amazing place to hike with your pup, head to the Pacheco Valle Open Space Preserve! This preserve is home to lovely trails and fire roads that provide great views of the surrounding canyons and mountains. It also has a beautiful waterfall to hike to. Dogs have to remain on-leash while on the preserve’s main trails, but they can be off-leash on the fire roads.
For a challenging and fun 2.7-mile hike, head to Pacheco Valle's Clay Court/Chicken Shack trailhead. The first part of the path is paved and surrounded by live oaks and California bays that provide shade. About 0.6 miles into the walk, you’ll reach the Little Cat Fire Road. Turn right onto this road and start climbing up. As you climb, you’ll get great views of Big Rock Ridge and the canyons found all along the ridge. You may also get to see some of the many animals that live in the preserve, including deer, cedar waxwings, American robins, and hermit thrushes.
After you’ve hiked 1.12 miles, you’ll reach Chicken Shack Road. Turn right on this road, and follow it along the ridgeline. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see beautiful Mount Tamalpais and San Pedro Mountain in the distance.
About 1.7 miles into your hike, Chicken Shack Road will turn south, toward the trailhead where you began your trek. Continue following this road until you reach the Clay Court/Chicken Shack trailhead. Parking is available along the street by the preserve. On weekends, you can also park in the park-and-ride lot located right next to the preserve.
The Pacheco Valle Open Space Preserve is a picturesque place to take your pup for a stroll! Bring some doggy bags with you so you can clean up after your dog during your trek, and have a furrific time hiking here.
There’s no drinking water available in the preserve — be sure to bring plenty of water with you. There’s also limited shade in many parts of the Pacheco Valle Preserve. As you’re walking through these sections, it’s a good idea to give your dog extra water. Also, be aware that bobcats and coyotes live in the preserve — be on the lookout for these animals as you’re hiking.