Pets

BARK Ranger Murphy, an Australian-German Shepard mix, on leash. Graphic of park ranger flat hat in upper left hand corner.
BARK Ranger Murphy invites you and your faithful companion to become an official Whiskeytown National Recreation Area BARK Ranger. Scroll down the page for details.

Enjoying Whiskeytown with Your Pet

For many, pets are an important member of our families, and we naturally want to bring them with us as we explore national parks. Luckily, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has many scenic spots and open spaces for you and your pet to enjoy together! Whether you share a hike to a waterfall or a fun day splashing in the lake, always be aware of your surroundings and considerate of others. It takes a cooperative effort to make the park safe and comfortable for everyone.

Know the B.A.R.K. Ranger Guidelines for a Safe and Enjoyable Visit!

If you are planning to bring your pet, make sure you are prepared and are following the B.A.R.K. Ranger guidelines. They help protect you, your pet, and the park while you are here.

Bag your pet’s waste
Help keep Whiskeytown clean by bagging your pet’s waste and throwing it away in trash receptacles. Pet owners are responsible for removing pet waste from all areas in the park including campgrounds, picnic areas, parking lots, roads, trails, and other developed areas. Pet feces is not a natural fertilizer and can spread diseases to park wildlife, introduce non-native plant seeds, and pollute the lake. Additionally, stepping in poop left behind by pet owners can be an unpleasant experience for other visitors.

Always leash your pet
Keep your pet, wildlife, and other people safe by using a leash not more than six feet long (2 meters) when in Whiskeytown, even if your pet is well behaved. If left unleashed, your dog can become trapped or injured while running, digging or jumping. It could be bitten by a rattlesnake, another dog, or even exposed to ticks, poison oak or other plants that have thorns or burrs. Pets also may become prey for larger predators such as mountain lions and bears. In addition, unleashed pets can stress or injure wildlife, scare other visitors, and are more likely to have a dangerous encounter. Leashed pets cannot be left unattended. Finally, make sure your leashed pet is well behaved around other people. You are helping to protect the experience of other visitors!

Respect wildlife

There are many species of wildlife that call Whiskeytown home. Pets can harass or harm wildlife by making noise or scaring them away. A respectful pet keeps clear of wildlife and stays on trails and out of wildlife’s natural habitats. Always stay at least 50 yards away from bears and 25 yards from other wildlife that you may encounter on your visit.

Pet food is also bear food. Ensure all pet food is secured when left unattended.

Know where you can go
Plan ahead! It’s always frustrating to have your beach spot staked out for the day only to find out you’re in an area that doesn’t allow pets.

Where Pets are Allowed at Whiskeytown:

· On roads and sidewalks.

· In all campgrounds and in group campsites.

· On all hiking trails.

· On most of the lakeshore (see below for exceptions).

Where Pets are not Allowed:

· In public buildings.

· Brandy Creek Beach, Oak Bottom Beach, East Beach, and in the Whiskey Creek Group Picnic Area Swim Beach. This is to protect small children, wildlife, and the lake’s water quality.

· In any other areas, as signed.

There are no exceptions to these pet regulations for carried pets (in arms, carriers, strollers, backpacks, etc.) in the areas of the park where pets are not allowed.

 

Enjoying the Park with Your Best Friends

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has many scenic spots and open spaces for you and your pet to enjoy together. Whether you share a tranquil creekside stroll or a jog along the beach, always be aware of your surroundings and considerate of others. It takes a cooperative effort to make the park safe and comfortable for everyone. Pets are not allowed in the visitor center, Camden House or on the swim beaches, adjacent picnic areas and grounds or within the swim area buoys at Oak Bottom, Brandy Creek and East Beach. Pets are not allowed in the Whiskey Creek Group Picnic Area, beach or the lake within the swim buoys.

When you bring your dog to the park, please remember:

To take plenty of water and food, for you and for your dog
To clean up after your dog
To never leave your pet unattended
To keep your dog on a leash and under control

Why Should Your Dog Be on a Leash?

For the Safety of Your Dog

Your dog can become trapped or injured while running, digging or jumping. Your dog could get bitten by a rattlesnake or even another dog. Your dog can be exposed to ticks, poison oak or other plants that have thorns or burrs. With a leash, your pet will be less likely to encounter these dangers.

For the Safety of Wildlife

Animals may be flushed out of nesting sites or burrows by your dog. A dog’s quick dig can destroy a wild animal’s home.

For the Safety of People

Some people, particularly children, are afraid of dogs– even friendly ones.

It’s the Law

Federal, state and county laws* require dogs to be on a leash. Please be aware that leashes, even retractable ones, must be six feet or less in length.

* Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2.015(a)(2). This regulation helps us protect and preserve the natural landscape.

 
A park ranger with visitors and large white dog on leash in front of Whiskeytown Falls.
A park ranger with visitors and large white dog on leash in front of Whiskeytown Falls.

Become a Whiskeytown B.A.R.K. Ranger!

Demonstrate to other visitors that you know how to explore the park safely and help protect your public lands! To become an official Whiskeytown National Recreation Area BARK Ranger, stop at the Visitor Center and pick up your Whiskeytown BARK Ranger Activity Book. Once you and your dog complete the activities in the booklet, head back to the Visitor Center and show the park ranger. Your dog will then be given a Whiskeytown B.A.R.K. Ranger tag that your pet can proudly display on their collar!

Pet Safety

· Do not wade or swim and do not let your pet wade or swim in the closed water zone around the Judge Francis Carr Powerhouse. Because of the hydroelectric operation, there is an extremely strong current and undertow - humans have drowned here!

Do not leave your pet in a closed vehicle. If the air temperature outside is 80°F/27°C, it will only take two minutes for the temperature inside your vehicle to reach over 94°F/34°C. Within an hour it can reach over 120°F. Whiskeytown frequently sees days well in excess of 100 °F/38 °C in the summer, increasing those internal car temperatures dramatically.

· Hot to touch? Too hot for paws! The summer heat can be dangerous for a pet’s paws. Avoid walking your pet in the heat of the day.

· Know where you can get your pet water while visiting the park. If you are hungry or thirsty while you are exploring, your pet probably is too. Always carry extra food and water for your pet and speak to a park ranger if you need help locating the closest drinking water.

Service Animals

Dogs classified as service animals are individually trained to perform a specific task that assists a person with a disability. Service dogs are legally permitted anywhere that visitors can go. Emotional support, therapy, and companion animals, as well as service animals in training, are not service animals and must abide by all pet regulations.

Last updated: September 15, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 188
Whiskeytown , CA 96095

Phone:

(530) 242-3400

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