Lake Chabot Hike

 UPDATE: Lake Chabot currently (Jan 2015) have reports of dogs dying after coming in contact with the algae in Lake Chabot. These are conditions that might have been brought on by the drought. Please avoid Lake Chabot for now, or at least do not let your dogs come in contact with the water. This is sad because it’s a really nice place to go for off leash hiking, but we are definitely going to avoid going there until the authorities report that the poisonous algae is gone. QQ and Chyler do not like to go into the water at the lake, but they do go near to sniff it. And we aren’t taking any chances.

Because QQ is a high energy dog, we try to take him hiking or somewhere he can run off leash at least once a week. We are lucky to live in California, where there is no lack of hiking trails. We tend to stick to places that are within 30-40 mins drive one way, but occasionally, we feel adventurous enough to venture even further away. I read about Lake Chabot when researching off-leash hikes and I was lured by descriptions of long off leash hikes and also the lake. So even though the drive is over the 30-40 mins restriction I set, we decided to give it a go.

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It certainly didn’t disappoint! I love the water, so any hikes/walks with views of the water, whether it is the ocean, a lake, or a waterfall, is good in my book. But I’m sometimes disappointed when what is called a lake turns out to be a little more than a pond. However, Lake Chabot, I’m happy to report, is definitely big enough to live up to the its name.  In fact, the water was quite pretty and it was a beautiful day.

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There are multiple trails and entrances, we chose one that allows us to let QQ off leash almost immediately. It led down to a trail that circles the lake. The landscapes changes intermittently from flat, dry land to shaded trails. Part of trail leads by a creek, and we even crossed a bridge.

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Most of the trail was flat and there’s barely any elevation, which is good for us. We don’t like climbing! We walked approximately 3 hours, and yet we didn’t manage to do a full loop around the lake. I think that would take us 4-5 hours, considering our slow pace. QQ was quite tired out though. Towards the end, he took every chance he had to lie down on the grass.

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It seemed to be a very popular trail and we met many people and cyclist, especially on the paved part of the trail that required dogs to be on leash. We didn’t spend much time there before turning back to the “wilderness”, where there were significantly less people. It was a good chance for us to train QQ too. He’s not good with strangers and tend to bark. I try to distract him with his treats and keep him quiet at the side of the road whenever we see strangers or bicyclists coming towards us. It worked to an extent, and I’m hoping if we continue with it, he will naturally learn to keep to the side and keep quiet when strangers/cyclists pass by. One step at a time!

Overall, Lake Chabot definitely have our mark of approval. My goal is to return and do the full loop around the lake!

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I love this photo. The husband was drinking water and QQ obviously wanted some, and he placed his paw onto the husband’s open palm to ask for some water is the most perfect gentlemanly way ever. Sometimes, he’s so sweet I can just eat him up.

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