There are a ton of options for getting out on the trails with your dog. We've put together a list of some of the best dog-friendly hikes in the U.S. Prep your outdoor dog gear and enjoy these easy to tough hiking spots.
8. Pa'rus Trail, Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah
National parks are usually off-limits to dogs but there are some dog-friendly hikes out there. One being Pa'rus Trail in Zion National Park. The Pa'rus trail runs parallel to the Virgin River, which has carved and shaped the canyon walls. It’s a paved path trail so you’re able to look around at the canyons and worry less about your footing. Bikes share this trail as well so be sure to keep your dog close by. Enjoy the trail at sunrise or sunset for great views and less heat.
Total Elevation Gain: 157 ft | Total Distance: 3.4 miles | Estimated Time: 1.5 hours
7. Triple Falls Trail on Bruce Creek in Caryville, Tennessee
For those on the East Coast, Triple Falls Trail on Bruce Creek is a moderate dog-friendly hike with wild flowers, multiple waterfalls, and wildlife to enjoy along the way. Tip: Wait to cross the bridge – keep going straight and you’ll see one last waterfall. The last portion is steep, but the view is worth the work! This hike is known to get muddy during rainy season so be prepared and pack some towels for paw clean up post-hike.
Total Elevation Gain: 685 ft | Total Distance: 1.9 miles | Estimated Time: 3 hours
6. Fourth of July Lake Trail, Markleeville, California
This dog-friendly hiking trail is located in the Mokelumne Wilderness, a federally designated wilderness area located 70 miles east of Sacramento, California. Spread between three National Forests, the Mokelumne is one of the more accessible wilderness areas in the region. This trail is not for beginners (humans or dogs), as it’s rated moderate to difficult. You will pass four lakes on this hike - Frog, Winnemucca, Round Top, and Fourth of July – plenty of opportunities for you and your dog to splash around and cool off. This is a long day hike so be sure to pack lots of water and food for you and your furry hiking buddy.
Total Elevation Gain: 2,319 ft | Total Distance: 11 miles | Estimated Time: 6 hours
5. Hulls Gulch Nature Trail, Boise, Idaho
A short drive from the hustle and bustle of city life in Boise, this dog-friendly hike is an easy day trip. The trail is open year-round so be prepared with the right gear for you and your pup depending on when you go. There’s snow, sun and everything in between, so please factor that in when planning this hike. Bikes aren’t allowed on this trail so if that’s a trigger for your dog this may be the one for you. Bonus, in the spring and early summer months your dog can cool off in a stream as you follow it with the trail.
Total Elevation Gain: 1,131 ft | Total Distance: 6.3 miles | Estimated Time: 3 hours
4. The Ocean Path and Gorham Mountain Loop, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
This is one of many dog-friendly hikes in Acadia National Park. And this trail has it all – stunning ocean views, mountain views, wild flowers and bird watching! Have a free weekend? This area offers plenty of hikes, accommodations, shops and even restaurants for you and your furry companion. Even better, there are opportunities to have your pup off-leash right outside of the park. Just make sure your recall is on point before letting your best friend roam free. Keep in mind, these dog-friendly hiking trails are best used April thru October.
Total Elevation Gain: 597 ft | Total Distance: 3.1 miles | Estimated Time: 1.5 hours
3. Green Mountain via Davis and Gold Creek Trail, Bremerton, Washington
True to its’ name, you’ll enjoy views of the lush, green landscape of this trail located just outside of Seattle. Have fun hiking with your dog on this moderate trail, which is best explored from June to October. Breathtaking views of snowcapped mountains offer awesome doggy-and-me photo ops! Note, this trail is shared with horses and dirt bikes so, if your dog is easily spooked keep your head on swivel. Also, try to check it out on a clear and sunny day so you can genuinely enjoy the views and hopefully, avoid any mud.
Total Elevation Gain: 1,040 ft | Total Distance: 6.1 miles | Estimated Time: 3 hours
2. Blue Mesa Trail, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
You’ll feel like you’ve entered another planet as you explore the blue mesa and encounter fossilized logs. The blue mesa are approximately 220 - 225 million years old and are an incredibly unique geological formation. Short but sweet, the paved path winds through the dry, blue mesa with no escape from the sun. So, keep that in mind when planning to hike with your dog. Tip: The park opens at 8am and the rare coloration is best seen early in the day. On your way in ask about the BARK Ranger program that you can sign up for and your pet will get a treat.
Total Elevation Gain: 108 ft | Total Distance: 0.9 miles | Estimated Time: 25 minutes
1. Columbine Lake Trail #509, San Juan National Forest, Silverton, Colorado
Described as ‘brutal’ and ‘not for the faint of heart,’ this hike is for you if you enjoy a challenge. Experienced hikers who brave this steep and difficult hike will be rewarded by stunning views and a pristine, crystal blue lake. Along the way enjoy the sounds of Mill Creek and the smell of abundant wild flowers – they will, almost, make you forget about the steep climb through 16 switch backs. Be sure to pack lots of water and a much-deserved picnic for you and your pup to share by the lake.
Total Elevation Gain: 2,933 ft | Total Distance: 8.3 miles | Estimated Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
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