When compared to other American cities, Seattle has one great advantage: the mesmerizingly beautiful natural landscape. Whether it’s the Cascade Range or the coastline of Elliot Bay, there are at least 7 dog-friendly hiking destinations. After all, roaming free is every canine’s dream, isn’t it?
Photo by @musthikemusteat / stock image
Although the highest point of the trail to Barclay Lake is 2,423 feet, the trail is heavily trafficked due to ease of access and a fairly low elevation gain of some 500 feet. The trail starts straight from the parking lot, as it takes hikers 2.2 miles along Barkley Creek.
The trail is suitable for all skill levels but canines need to be leashed, as there are children around. Peak months are from May to October when campers and fishermen descend the area. The most dangerous section is at the 1.2 mile mark, where you have to cross Barclay Creek using a single log bridge which is often slippery.
Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest
Photos by @thetailof_nala & @thriving_with_tara / Instagram
The next trail on our list takes on you a moderately intense loop around Lake Twenty-Two. The biggest draw is the natural landscape comprised of lush rain forests against the backdrop of an alpine lake. The view of Mount Pilchuck from the trail is breathtaking.
Dogs are allowed on the 7-mile hike that loops the lake but they need to be leashed. The trail gets most visitors from May to November, as folks enjoy running, hiking, and snowshoeing. In order to avoid the crowds, we suggest you and Fido set off early in the morning on weekends.
Olallie State Park
Photos by @saraeye & @koby_kenoby / Instagram
Located near North Bend, Cedar Butte Trail is 3.5 miles long, which makes it a moderate trail in terms of difficulty. The trail leads from Rattlesnake Lake up to Cedar Butte at 1877 ft., making it ideal for hiking, running, and bird watching. Canines are welcome but should be kept on a leash.
The trail is accessible year-round and it does get a lot of visitors due to a reasonable elevation gain of some 900 feet. Visitors can enjoy the views of nearby Mount Si and Mailbox Peak but when driving in, they’ll need a Discover Pass issued by Washington State Parks.
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Photo by Donn Colby / alltrails.com
The easiest path on our list, Red Top Lookout Trail is merely 1-mile long and has an elevation gain of 308 feet, which means is family-friendly. Dogs can tag along but they need to be on a leash. The trail is a loop around Cle Elum and it is ideal for hiking June through October.
Despite its short length, the trail offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. In the summer months, there is a staffed lookout that welcomes hikers from 9 AM to 6 PM. Be aware that the road to the trail is rough and that GPS coordinates are not reliable, so bring along a paper map.
Photos by @rloliveirajr & @adventureswith_jane / Instagram
Before tackling this difficult 4-mile trail along Rattlesnake Ledge, you should take your dog to a local Seattle vet for a check-up. The elevation gain of 1,160 feet is a stress for the body, despite the panoramic views of Rattlesnake Lake and the surrounding mountains.
For their own safety, dogs should be kept on a leash, as they might dash after cheeky chipmunks which prey on hikers’ food. The trail is well-maintained but be careful near the ledge itself, as the sheer cliffs are exposed, so thread slowly and watch your every step.
Photos by @travelingrobotphotography & @professorekf / Instagram
This 8-mile trail (both ways) is popular among hikers of all ages, so it’s full of people on the weekends. Therefore, dogs need to be leashed but that won’t stop Fido from playing among spring wildflowers. In fact, the view from the ridge and the flora along the way are the biggest draws of this Mount Sawyer trail.
The elevation gain is some 1,200 ft., while the highest point at Tonga Ridge is at 5,495 ft. In fall, there are a lot of berries but be aware that they attract bears, as well as hunters, so caution is advised.
2300 Arboretum Dr E, Washington Park
Photos by @snuggles_oes & @rmarcham1 / Instagram
The closes trail to downtown Seattle on our list, Washington Park Arboretum is easily accessible by public transport. Visitors can explore the vast variety of plant life that spans 230 acres near Lake Washington. In fact, there are canoes and kayaks available near Foster Island Road, so you might consider adding boating to the adventure.
The trail itself is a loop 3.5 miles long with a meager 216 feet elevation gain. Dogs are welcome in the park but they must be leashed, so as not to damage the flora. The Arboretum is so easy and fun to explore, that you and Fido might want to visit a local bar afterward.
Hiking with your dog in and around Seattle is never boring, regardless of the time of year. The 7 dog-friendly hikes in Seattle we have listed above present the ideal starting point for the great outdoors experience that wouldn’t be the same without your trusted four-legged friend.
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Nicknamed the Evergreen State, Washington offers plenty of dog-friendly trails, such as Tonga Ridge, Annette Lake, Greenwater Lake, Red Top Lookout Trail, Washington Park Arboretum, etc.
Like in other national parks in the state of Washington, dogs are not allowed on trails on Mount Rainier. This applies to all pets and the ban stands for off-trail areas, inside buildings, snow, and amphitheaters. The only exception are service animals that must be leashed at all times.
Yes, Seattle had on several occasions been voted the most dog-friendly city in the United States. This is reflected in a high rate of ownership, dozens of off-leash dog parks, as well as dog-friendly restaurants, hotels, and even breweries.
Pretty much anywhere but Fido should be kept on a leash at most places. Some ideas for a stroll with your dog include Kubota Garden, Green Lake Park, Gas Works, Washington Park Arboretum, Fremont Sunday Market, etc.
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