Dog-Friendly Hikes: Washington State

Dog-Friendly Hikes: Washington State

Posted by Jen Sotolongo, Long Haul Trekkers on 6th February 2017

Photo Credit:

With the Cascade and Olympic Mountain Ranges, there is no
shortage of mind-blowingly beautiful hikes in Washington State with some of the
best views in the country. Many hikes in the state require a
Forest Pass
, which you can purchase for $5 per day or get an annual pass
for $30. State Parks require a
Discover Pass, also
$30 annually.


(Columbia River Gorge) — This
short hike in the Columbia River Gorge offers spectacular views of Mt. Hood and
the Columbia River. Come during the spring when the colorful wildflower
spectacle will guide your way, thanks to the poor, shallow soil that does not
permit grasses to overtake the flowers. Bring a picnic lunch, or better yet,
dinner and watch the sun set as it casts a pink alpenglow over Mt. Hood.

River Trail
Pinchot National Forest) — One of the premier waterfall hikes in
Washington, Lewis River is a relatively flat 6.6-mile out and back where hikers
pass several spectacular waterfalls. This hike is great year round, and a
winter visit will only intensify the water flow and the waterfalls may even be
partially frozen, which is a particularly beautiful sight. If you know your
mushrooms, this is the perfect place to look for chanterelles.

Lake to Sourdough Gap
(Mt. Rainier) — Given that dogs are not permitted in
Mt. Rainier National Park, this is the best place to head with your pup for a
taste of what’s inside. This short and easy hike offers a glorious view of Mt.
Rainier and Crystal Lake, and is particularly beautiful on a clear, fall day.


Pass Loop Hike
(North Cascades) – Maple Pass is a classic Washington hike will
allow you to take your pup as close to North Cascades National Park as you can
get, thanks to the fact that this trail runs along a corridor just outside of
the park boundaries. A fantastic hike any time of year, the best time to visit is
during the fall to catch the changing colors of the plants and trees. The
7-mile loops offers sweeping views of alpine lakes and heaps of North Cascade

Pass via Upper Big Quilcene
(Olympic Peninsula) – This 10.6-mile RT hike
can be done as a long day hike or as an overnighter. Another hike that skirts
the edges of a national park, Marmot Pass sits just outside of Olympic National
Park this is THE must-hike trail in the Olympic Peninsula. If you’re making
this an overnight trip, leave your heavy packs at camp at Camp Mystery and hike
the remaining ¾-mile hike to Marmot Pass for open views of the Olympic Range.

Trail to Silver Star Mountain
(SW Washington) – If views of Washington and Oregon’s most
prominent peaks are what you’re after then Silver Star Mountain is the hike for
you. The 5.5-mile exposed trail to the twin-summited mountain is lined with meadows
filled with one of the best wildflower shows in the region.


Oyster Dome
— Just outside of Bellingham, one of Washington’s most darling
outdoor towns, Oyster Dome offers a sea to sky hike in the Chuckanut Mountains.
This popular hike rises a steep 2,073 feet in three miles, and in exchange for
the effort, offers 180 degree views of the Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, and
Olympic Mountains. Reward yourself with a beer afterward from
Paws for a Beer, Bellingham’s
own dog-friendly bar.

(Henry M. Jacskson Wilderness) — Blanca Lake is a challenging 7.5-mile
hike that’s well worth the effort. Bring a picnic lunch, a swimsuit, and a
towel and make the trek to the turquoise lake in the heat of summer. Be sure to
snack on the delicious huckleberries lining the first three miles of the trail
as you walk through secondary forest.

(Snoqualmie) — Choose from one of two
options to reach the top of this mountain: Difficult or Most Difficult. The Old
Trail to Mailbox Peak is legendary, both as a bucket list hike for local hikers
and as a brutally steep, rooted hike that inevitably requires a call for rescue
due to injury or getting lost. Either
path you choose, Mt. Rainier greets you, front and center at the top.

(North Cascades) — This challenging peak ascends 4,000 feet,
leading to some of the best views in the state. A series of switchbacks through
dense forest eventually lead to a ridge where ripened wild blueberries provide
the perfect opportunity to rest and take in the view. Continue on along the
ridge to complete the 8.6-mile RT hike and stop and marvel at all the
snow-capped peaks dotting the skies around.

Looking for other hiking destinations? Read about Dog Friendly
Hikes in Oregon
and Dog -Friendly Hikes in British Columbia. For guidelines on which National
Parks are dog-friendly, check out a full list


Check out our Dog Hiking Checklist to make sure you have everything you need

Jen Sotolongo is a writer and photographer and
Long Haul Trekkers
, a blog about independent, responsible travel with a
pet. Over the past 2 years, she and her partner have taken their dog, Sora on a
cycle tour spanning across Europe and South America, proving that adventures
can include your dog, no matter where in the world they may be.

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