Expert Advice

5 Dog Friendly Hikes in Western Washington

The PNW is a great place to explore and hike with your dog. Before you hit the trail make sure that you are prepared for the season you’re hiking in. Your pack should include appropriate hiking attire and gear for yourself and your pup, and remember weather in the mountains can change in an instant. If you are unsure about the trail conditions, call or visit the closest Ranger Station.

Before you head out make sure you bring the appropriate passes and permits and always follow the Leave No Trace principles. Most of these trails can get busy so arrive early to avoid the crowds and please keep your dog on leash.

Here are 5 of our favorite dog friendly hikes in Western Washington.

  1. Franklin Falls, 2 miles round trip, 400 ft. elevation gain, Snoqualmie Region — Easy

This hike is a popular summer and winter destination, located less than an hour away from Seattle. In the summer you can enjoy getting your toes a little wet and in the winter you get to see majestic frozen falls. If you hike this trail in the winter, expect to hike an additional 2.5 miles before you reach the trailhead parking lot. While Franklin Falls is gorgeous in the winter, micro spikes are a must as the trail can get rather slick and slippery (you’ve been warned!).

This trail requires: Northwest Forest Pass

  1. Lake 22, 5.4 miles round trip, 1350 ft. elevation gain, North Cascades — Moderate

Lake 22 is a local favorite with lush forests and stunning mountain views. The trail starts out easy and then you will slowly start to gain elevation as you climb toward the lake. Once you reach the lake enjoy the scenery or be brave and take a dip in the alpine lake. There is a boulder field beyond the lake that is not recommended for travel.

This trail requires: Northwest Forest Pass

  1. Rattlesnake Ridge, 4 miles road trip, 1160 ft. elevation gain, Snoqualmie Region — Easy

The lovely Rattlesnake Ridge is well maintained and easy to follow. Once you reach the ledge, it is exposed and the large rock has sheer cliffs.  Make sure you and your pup don’t get too close to the ledge! When you reach the top, take in the gorgeous views of Rattlesnake Lake as well as Mount Si and Mount Washington.

This trail requires: no passes or permits required

  1. Dog Mountain, 6 miles round trip, 2800 ft. elevation gain, Southwest Washington — Moderate

If you’re willing to drive a little further, Dog Mountain is well worth the trek. Dog Mountain, which is 3 and a half hours south of Seattle, offers panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood. This trail runs on the permit system during the high season (March 31 to July 1) so don’t forget to get yours ahead of time!

This trail requires: A Northwest Forest Pass as well as a permit for each person on the trail.  Permits can be purchased through for $1.50

  1. Summit Lake, 6.1 miles round trip, 1300 ft. elevation gain, Mount Rainier — Moderate

Summit Lake is a special hike to me because this was Delilah’s first real hike when she was a young pup.  Summit Lake is about an hour and a half away from Seattle.  The trail is steep and mainly tree covered until you reach the lake.  Once you get to Summit Lake, take in the stunning view of Mt. Rainier and the gorgeous blue color of the lake.  I also recommend picking a good spot to stop and take a break to eat your snacks.  In the summer, the lake is notorious for horse flies so this might cause an annoyance for you and your pup.  If you’re up for a challenge, you can hike to Summit Peak which has an even better view of the lake and Rainier.

This trail requires: Northwest Forest Pass

About the author: Resa and Delilah enjoy hiking, camping and backpacking in the PNW – follow their adventures on Instagram @thelifeofdelilah

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