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Tails on Trails: Favorite Dog-Friendly Hikes in Washington

You love hiking. You love our dog. There's nothing better than enjoying the great outdoors with our furry companions by our side. Read on to learn some of my favorite spots to hike with my dog.

Pictured Above: Views from Lake Ann (Mount Baker Highway)

Soaking up the sun on the bluff's of Ebey's Landing

Length: 5.5 miles, roundtrip

Difficulty: Easy

I love experiencing new places, so it's not often that I repeat the same hike twice. But I can't stop coming back to Ebey's Landing. It makes for a perfect day trip including ferry ride & cute towns all while boasting stunning views of the Olympic Mountains & Puget Sound. This trail is perched on a bluff overlooking the Puget Sound & a beautiful spot to catch a dreamy sunset. At the end of the bluff trail, you can make it a loop by traversing a steep, but short trail down to the beach below and heading back along the water.

Stopped along the river at Twin Falls

Length: 2.6 miles, roundtrip

Difficulty: Easy

Don't want to drive too far, but still want to experience the natural wonders of Washington state? Twin Falls is less than an hour from Kirkland and takes you on a winding trail though thick forests along the South Fork Snoqualmie River. At the beginning of the trail, you'll find beach access where your dog can take a dip & play in the river. As you continue on, be sure your is dog leashed & under control. As you start to ascend and get closer to the viewpoints for the falls, the river flows through a deep & beautiful ravine. Near the top, you can view the Falls from sturdy platforms & bridges that aren't for the faint of heart!

Length: 10 miles, roundtrip

Difficulty: Moderate

Cutthroat Pass is one of the few places in the North Cascades where you can bring your dog. Over 3 hours away from Kirkland, be prepared for a long drive. But it will all be worth it when you take in its stunning scenery. Hike it in early Fall and enjoy the Larch trees as they change to a golden yellow.

Bailey blends in with the golden Larches

Length: 7.5 miles, roundtrip

Difficulty: Moderate

I did this hike for the first time in November and was treated to blankets of snow covering the trail as we neared the top. It was a weekday, with nobody else around, so Bailey and I enjoyed this hike all to ourselves, a rarity these days. As a new member of the Mountaineers and dawned with my Garmin inReach, I felt confident in my abilities, but being out there alone also left me feeling vulnerable & small in the shadow of Mt. Baker. A more popular hike in the summer months, be prepared to share the trail with lots of other furry friends.

Length: 8 miles, roundtrip

Difficulty: Challenging

Nestled in the Olympic Mountains Range, Mt. Townsend will give you & your dog a solid workout with 3010ft of elevation gain in 4 miles. Start off in a forest of rhododendron's as you begin a long journey of switchbacks to the top. It won't be long before the forest thins and the trail opens up. Be sure to do it on a clear, sunny day for the ultimate wow factor. Once you reach the top, you'll be greeted to the west by mountain ranges you didn't even know existed and to the east, you might be able to spot all five of Washington's volcanoes.

Hiking Preparedness

These hikes are recommended from my personal experience. Always hike within your abilities AND your dog's abilities. Obey leash laws and come prepared with the 10 Essentials. This includes extra food & gear for your pup! For more tips on hiking with your dog, visit Washington Trail's Association.


About the Author: Ashley Diaz is a dedicated pet owner and animal lover with over 10 years of experience providing professional pet care. With certifications in applied animal behavior & training, she shares her knowledge and insights on pet ownership, behavior, and training in her blog. Outside of her work with animals, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, practicing yoga and playing the piano.


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