Back to Outdoors

Northwest dog trips

Where to hike with your pooch

Stock photo

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

They say every dog has his day, and these days it seems every dog has his day out: More canines are hitting the road come vacation time.

"The Northwest is really dog-friendly," said Holly Anderson of Mud Bay stores. "If you're just walking around sightseeing, everyone is very relaxed about it, and you can find a lot of restaurants with outdoor seating."

While urban adventures are possible, your favorite canine almost certainly prefers hiking and camping. (After all, isn't going for a walk pretty much his favorite hobby?)

There are a lot more dogs hitting the trail these days, Anderson said. "In the last five years, I've seen a huge uptick in people hiking and going camping with dogs."

Edna, an 8-year-old West Highland Terrier, is a seasoned hiker.

"She goes on eight-plus-mile hikes," Anderson said. "There've only been a couple of times when she's stopped, sat on the trail and looked at us like, ‘I'm not going any further.' "

Length and difficulty of a hike are important considerations, but it's also necessary to know where dogs are permitted. They're welcome in state parks and on public land, but they aren't allowed in national parks.

Anderson suggests consulting Best Hikes With Dogs in Western Washington, which includes information on where dogs are welcome and whether a leash is required.

Joanne Lee spends a lot of time hiking with her 1-year-old Labradoodle, Selkie, and she tries to find uncrowded spots where Selkie can spend some time off-leash.

Locally, she likes Priest Point Park, Burfoot Park, and Garfield Nature Trail. Another nearby option is Capitol Forest. Both Anderson and Lee like its uncrowded trails where dogs have room for a good romp.

A bit further afield, Anderson and Edna hike at Lower Lena Lake near Lilliwaup. "It's our favorite hike that's easy to get to," she said. Dogs can't go to Upper Lena Lake because the trail crosses into the Olympic National Park.

She also suggests hiking along the I-90 corridor, where dogs can be off leash in many areas. "There are a lot of great view hikes there, like Little Si," she said. "When you get up to the top, you have a beautiful view."

For camping, Anderson's picks include Mt. Baker, Lower Lewis River Falls in Cougar, and Dungeness Spit in Clallam County. Lee also likes Mt. Baker, as well as Gifford-Pinchot National Forest and Jarrell Cove near Gig Harbor.

In urban areas, there's not as much recreation for dogs, but no matter the destination, a good walk is a must.

"When we go on trips, we try to find a cool little park that's pretty and has a short walk," Anderson said. "Portland has tons of little trails."

Lee likes The Dog Lover's Companion to the Pacific Northwest, which lists dog parks, pet-friendly businesses and more.

Canine companions can also come to dinner. Outdoor seating is the most common option, while Norm's in Seattle is a well-known spot that lets dogs come on in.

For lodging, Anderson recommends McMenamin's hotels, many of which accept pets, while Lee likes to find pet-friendly home stays. "AirBNB has become my new best friend as far as traveling," she said.

Hotels will generally require that a dog stay in a crate when in the room alone. Edna spends time in a crate at Anderson's office at Mud Bay headquarters, so she's comfortable there.

"It's something she's used to," Anderson said. "It gives her a sense of home."

Mud Bay, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday,

  • In Gig Harbor, 4816 Point Fosdick Drive NW, 253.358.4000
  • In University Place, 3804 Bridgeport Way, 253.565.1955
  • In Puyallup, 13210 Meridian Ave. E., 253.604.0080
  • In Lacey, 8909 Martin Way E., 360.459.9200
  • In Olympia, 2410 Harrison Ave. NW, 360.352.4700
Read next close


Spring skiing

comments powered by Disqus