Amador County: Lake Tabeaud

Destination: Lake Tabeaud Loop
Mileage: 2.39 miles
Trailhead: Lake Tabeaud Day Use Area off Tabeaud Road east of Jackson
Elevation: 2,060 up to 2,114 feet

I want a cabin in the woods. I want a quick drive up the highway to Sierra backpacking. I want the scent of pine floating on the air. I want a local dog-friendly trail to frequent. I’m toying with the idea of moving up the hill to the Jackson area, but want to find my local trail first.

After learning the East Bay Municipal Utility District has similar anti-dog policies as National Parks, I had to look beyond their sierra foothill trails to other options. Lake Tabeaud has definite potential with hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. Note there is no swimming in this lake, which is fine by me and my anti-water dog.


For our first outing we kept it simple with a hike around the lake starting from the main day use area. Hiking around the trail clockwise, our journey began along a flume with various trails branching off into the woods. As we got to the far side of the lake the trail seemed less traveled. In the parking lot we saw three mountain bikers with dogs, but there weren’t any tire tracks on this portion of the trail; there must be other popular routes in the area. Along the hike we picked up two geocaches, Time Well Wasted and  A Stroll Around the Lake. The first one was a bit off the trail and warned of ticks. Ticks indeed – I pulled a half dozen off of Aspen after we returned to the trail. No matter how you’re enjoying Lake Tabeaud, be sure to stop and enjoy the canyon view from the dam. I’m not sure how far one could see on a clear day, but we could see the fog bank in the valley we’d escaped.

Lake Tabeaud has potential especially with all of the various trails to explore to create my own routes, but leashes are required – bummer!



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