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16 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Washington (2023 Guide)


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Hiking with dog, Exploring Washington State

Washington is home to hundreds of hiking trails that twist around mountains, forests, and lakes. The trails are home to various wildlife and beautiful views and are perfect places to explore with your dog.

There are a few places where pets aren’t allowed, but there are just as many areas where your dog can join you on your adventures. Remember to keep them on a 6-foot leash and abide by the “leave no trace” rule by picking up after yourself and your dog during your hikes. We hope these 16 dog-friendly hiking trails give you somewhere new to explore.


The 16 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Washington

1. Mailbox Peak Trail Loop

  • Two trails are available with varying difficulty and length
  • The trail ends at the Mailbox Peak Summit, where you can take a picture with the iconic mailbox
  • It’s a popular spot for hikers and dog walkers—Keep your dog leashed
  • You’ll need a day pass or Discovery Pass to park
  • The hike is a challenging one, but the final view is worth the effort

2. Heybrook Lookout Trailhead

  • A 1.9-mile long trail with a beautiful view at the end
  • Suitable for novice hikers but it is steep in places
  • A popular hiking spot with limited parking
  • There’s an old fire watch tower you can climb at the end
  • You’ll need plenty of water and snacks for you and your dog

3. Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

  • Several trails to choose from to suit all hiking abilities
  • You’ll likely encounter plenty of wildlife, horses, and other hikers—Keep your dog leashed!
  • The trails are marked but take a map just in case
  • Weekends can get busy
  • Located right on the edge of Seattle

4. Upper Big Creek Loop Trail

  • June to October is the most popular time for visitors
  • A moderate, 4-mile hike with steep inclines in places
  • Spectacular views of the surrounding area
  • The trail and bridges are well-maintained
  • Parking requires a trail pass

5. Dog Mountain Trail

🗺️ Address: 📍 WA-14, Cook, WA 98605
🕐 Open Times: 24/7, March to December
💲 Cost: $5
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • There are two available hikes with varying difficulty
  • You’ll need a day or annual pass to park
  • Can be crowded in summer with limited parking—there is a shuttle available if you don’t want to park at the trail
  • Beautiful views throughout the year with gorgeous wildflowers in springtime
  • A difficult hike that is mostly uphill but it is manageable for beginners

6. Chambers Bay Loop Trail Head

  • A 3.1-mile loop trail in Tacoma with a beach, golf park, and off-leash dog area
  • Dogs should be kept on a leash in the main park
  • An easy, mostly flat trail with beautiful views of Puget Sound
  • There isn’t a lot of shade so take plenty of water
  • Can get crowded but there’s plenty of space

7. Rachel Lake Trail

  • A 9-mile hiking trail that’s popular among local backpackers
  • Offers a beautiful view of the lake and several small waterfalls
  • The trails aren’t marked very clearly so be sure to take a map
  • You’ll need a day pass or a Northwest Forest Pass to park
  • The hike is difficult to start with but is easier later on

8. Rosario Head Trail

  • Beautiful views of Puget Sound
  • A 1.5-mile easy hike for beginners
  • There is plenty of parking available, but it gets crowded on weekends
  • You’ll need a Discovery Pass to visit the park
  • Remember to keep your dog leashed

9. Lake Ann Trail

  • A popular spot for hiking, birdwatching, and running
  • Make sure your dog is leashed
  • The snow lingers for most of the year and can be deep in places—you might need crampons and poles
  • Offers spectacular views of Mt. Shuksan and Lake Ann
  • It’s a popular hiking spot for day visitors and campers

10. Lake Valhalla Trailhead

  • A 12-mile trail for experienced hikers
  • One of the quieter, less crowded hiking trails in Washington
  • There is a shorter hike to Lake Valhalla at Smithbrook Trailhead for beginners
  • You might encounter bears and other wildlife
  • There are campsites and restrooms located at Lake Valhalla

11. Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap Trailhead

🗺️ Address: 📍 Naches, WA 98937
🕐 Open Times: 24/7, all year
💲 Cost: $5
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Gets crowded later in the day so head out early
  • One of the easier trails available in Washington
  • Located on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
  • There are hiking spots available at the lake
  • It can get very busy and there is minimal parking

12. Snoqualmie Lake Trail

🗺️ Address: 📍 North Bend, WA 98045
🕐 Open Times: 24/7, all year
💲 Cost: $5
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • The trails are easy and suitable for novice hikers
  • You can continue your hike in Otter Falls or return to the trailhead
  • It can be difficult to get to—watch for potholes on the main road
  • There is limited parking, and you’ll need a day pass
  • You might encounter bears—Keep your dog leashed

13. Baker Lake Trail

  • The road leading to the trailhead is filled with potholes
  • It’s an easy trail but lengthy
  • All the bridges and the trail are safe and well-maintained
  • It gets busy during summer weekends
  • You’ll need a National Forest Pass to park and use the trail

14. Melmont Ghost Town Hike

  • A moderately difficult hike with a few ruins to explore along the way
  • The trail can get incredibly muddy
  • Located on the Foothills Trail
  • It is difficult to find the trailhead but worth the effort
  • The trail is rarely crowded and there’s plenty of parking

15. Wildcat Green Mountain Trailhead

  • A popular spot for dirt biking so you need to make sure your dog is leashed
  • Suitable for novice or experienced hikers
  • It’s a long way to the top—pack enough water for you and your dog
  • On clear days you can see Seattle in the distance
  • You’ll need a Discovery Pass to park

16. Gold Creek Trailhead

  • A paved loop trail that’s wheelchair and stroller accessible
  • You’ll need a Northwest Forest Pass to use the parking lot
  • Quieter than the nearby Wildcat Trailhead
  • There are expansive and gorgeous views at the end of the hike
  • Suitable for children and older hikers



There are several hiking trails throughout Washington that are man-made and natural with a range of difficulties. If you’re looking for a great view for a doggy photo shoot or just want somewhere new to explore, a new trail is an excellent choice. You can stick to simple man-made trails if you’re a novice hiker or tackle some of the difficult trails we’ve listed to challenge your skills and give your dog some new places to sniff. Hopefully, this list will help you find your new favorite trail.

Featured Image Credit: Kevin Lobene, Shutterstock


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