In the dog days of summer, it can be a challenge to keep your pup cool. Luckily, Sacramento is a dog-friendly city surrounded by lakes and rivers, making it a great place for water lovers — both the two-legged and four-legged varieties. Taking advantage of Sacramento’s many natural resources — not to mention its swimming pools — is a great way to keep your furry friend happy and healthy when the mercury rises. Following are some of the best places in and around Sacramento to take your dog for a swim.
Sutter’s Landing Regional Park
Location: Midtown Sacramento | Directions
Sutter’s Landing Regional Park stretches along the American River just west of the Capitol City Freeway. There’s an off-leash dog park with separate areas for large and small pups and ample seating for human buddies. Follow the trail along the river and you’ll find shaded spots to watch your dog dive in.
Paradise Beach/Dog Beach
Location: River Park | Directions
Just over the levy from Glenn Hall Park is Paradise Beach, a sandy cove popular among revelers come summertime. Head just a bit upstream towards Sac State and you’ll discover a protected, rocky cove known by locals as Dog Beach. The water is calm and shallow so it’s ideal for wading or playing a game of fetch.
Sunrise Recreation Area
Location: Rancho Cordova | Directions
Both the upper and lower Sunrise Recreation Areas have winding trails leading to the river. The current is swift so it’s best to find a shallow, protected inlet. There are numerous options off the bike trail near the scenic Fair Oaks Bridge.
Location: El Dorado Hills | Directions
Brown’s Ravine is a busy marina and recreation area on the southeast corner of Folsom Lake. Park along Sophia Parkway, cross the road and catch Brown’s Ravine Trail. Take the trail south from the boat ramps and take your pick from the many access points along the way. The water is warm and calm and you may just want to jump in and doggie paddle along the shore yourself!
Auburn State Recreation Area
Location: North Auburn | Directions
The North and Middle Forks of the American River meet in the Auburn State Recreation Area, which is the perfect place to keep cool on a hot summer day. Park on Old Foresthill Road and take the short trail down to the rocky beach beneath the towering Foresthill Bridge – your pup will love splashing in the refreshing mountain runoff. For a more remote spot, take one of the many riverside hiking trails.
Location: Granite Bay | Directions
Beal’s Point is on the western side of Folsom Lake near Granite Bay. Although dogs aren’t allowed on the beach itself, there are miles of trails to explore and plenty of places for your pooch to plunge. There’s even a dog-friendly campground should you want to make a weekend out of it.
Animal Den Pet Resort & Spa
Location: Sacramento | Directions
Photo courtesy Animal Den Pet Resort & Spa
A pool party for dogs? Why not? Animal Den Pet Resort & Spa has private rentals to celebrate your doggo in style. Or, for those dogs who’d like to make new furry friends, you can drop-in on weekends to splish and splash with like-minded puppers. Drop-in hours are 10:30 a.m. – noon and 5 – 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through September. Even better, the Den Bar serves wine and beer after 5 p.m. to humans over the age of 21 (age 3 in dog years).
Other Pools for Pups
Location: Folsom, West Sacramento, Sacramento
Many public swimming pools in the greater Sacramento area open their doors to doggos at various times throughout the year. Special dog-only events include Bark ’n’ Splash Bash at the Steve Milkos Aquatic Center in Folsom, to be held Sept. 28; Soggy Doggy Swim Day at the West Sacramento Recreation Center & Pool, to be held Oct. 5; and Doggie Dip Days at Pannell Meadowview Pool, held in October.