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Valley Vista Trail
Directions: Take Hwy 16 east from Woodland for about 35 miles to Rumsey. Across from Camp Haswell, the trail begins on a dirt parking area on the left side of the highway.
The Valley Vista Trail earns its name thanks to a panorama of Capay Valley, where Cache Creek meanders through a landscape of farms and orchards. If anything, the name doesn’t do this sweet, steep trail justice. That’s because clear-day views extend beyond the valley and all the way to the 10,462-foot Mount Lassen and the Sierra Nevada’s Crystal Range. Even on hazy days, you’ll see Sutter Buttes, riding like a ghost ship above a ridge. The trail in Yolo County’s Valley View Regional Park begins along State Highway 16, where the road enters Cache Canyon. Lovingly built by volunteers from Tuleyome, an organization focused on protecting the Putah-Cache bioregion, the trail looks across the canyon to slopes latticed by game trails. The well-designed route follows switchbacks that alternate from long, graceful stretches where you can savor the view to tight, serpentine sections designed to ease the steepest climbs. Short as it is, the hike is certainly a workout. By the time you reach a pair of blue oaks and a picnic table (hauled up and assembled as part of an Eagle Scout’s project) you’re ready for a break. Once there, take in the view and you’ll realize why the Valley Vista Trail lives up to its name. yolohiker.org —M.J.
Despite a location next to Woodland’s Dead Cat Alley and its copious amount of feline bric-a-brac, the Fat Cat Cafe still reveres dogs. At least hot dogs. They come 10 ways at the café, most famously the Stroski Dog, which is adorned with Jack cheese and generous strips of bacon. For something more hike-friendly, it’s tough to beat the sandwich made with Buckhorn Steakhouse tri-tip stacked high on a hoagie roll. The tri-tip, which also comes as a salad, is available Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (ask on other days and you might luck out). And if you get here early, the Fat Cat has breakfast items from scones to breakfast burritos. 317 Second St., Woodland. 530-661-6113