Walking your dog through your neighborhood to your local park is always a good way to get out of the house for a while, but it can get tiresome seeing the same streets over and over again. Washington is full of natural hiking trails that you can explore, and many of the areas allow dogs, as long as they’re leashed and you pick up after them. During your next hiking adventure in the Evergreen State, check out one of these dog-friendly trails.
The 16 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Washington
1. Coal Creek Natural Area
There are history placards along the route describing old mining operations in the area.
There is no off-leash area.
A rocky trail that is suitable for all levels of experience.
Located inside a suburban area for easy access.
You’ll need bug spray for you and your dog at certain times of the year.
2. Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
An easy- to moderate-level hike suitable for novice hikers.
Dogs need to be on a leash on all the trails, and remember to pick up after them.
Some of the trails are steep and can be challenging.
There are several trails in the area to choose from, so bring a map for the one that you want to explore.
The trails aren’t paved and get muddy during winter and wet weather.
3. Heather Lake Trail
Requires a Northwest Forest Pass.
The road to the parking lot has several deep potholes, so drive carefully!
Gets crowded on weekends during the summer months.
Mostly uphill, but the trail is a gentle slope that’s suitable for novice hikers who want a bit of a challenge.
Beautiful lake views at the end of the trail.
4. Mailbox Peak Trail
A difficult hike with challenging terrain that is best suited for hikers with experience.
The new trail is longer but slightly friendlier to beginners.
You’ll need plenty of water and snacks for you and your dog, as it’s a 2.5-mile hike.
Requires a Discover Pass.
An incredibly popular trail due to the iconic mailbox and beautiful view at the end.
5. Lake Twenty-Two Trailhead
A moderately difficult hike that gets muddy on occasion, so you’ll need sturdy hiking boots.
The trail has waterfalls, creeks, and gorgeous views.
There are no off-leash areas and your dog should be under control at all times.
The trail requires a Northwest Forest Pass.
Trekking poles and sturdy boots are recommended, especially in wet weather.
6. Annette Lake Trailhead
A 7-mile hike that’s suitable for beginners, but bring plenty of snacks and water for you and your dog.
There are first-come, first-served camping spots at the lake.
It’s a popular hiking spot, so set out early to avoid the crowds.
Open all year, but you’ll need snowshoes for the deep snow near the peak in winter.
You’ll need a Northwest Forest Pass to park.
7. Twin Falls Trailhead
An easy and quick hike with a few steep slopes along the way.
You will need a Discover Pass, which can be purchased in the parking lot.
Gets busy later in the day, so arrive early if you want to avoid the crowd.
Dogs should be kept on a leash and their poop disposed of properly, especially during busy visits.
You’ll need hiking boots and a towel, as the path gets muddy.
8. Upper Big Creek Loop Trail #827.1
Well-maintained but steep—a challenge for novice hikers.
A Northwest Forest Pass is required for parking.
Follows the course of several rivers with several bridges.
There are beautiful views along the trail.
Remember to keep your dog leashed and pick up after them.
9. Melmont Ghost Town Hike
An easy to moderate hiking trail with plenty of challenging terrain.
The trail is difficult to find and there is limited parking.
It’s located on the Foothills Trail.
You can explore the ruined buildings of an abandoned coal mining town along the way.
A fun hike with beautiful scenery, but the path does get muddy.
10. Smithbrook Trail
A short, easy route around Lake Valhalla for novice hikers.
Limited parking on summer weekends.
Intersects with the Pacific Crest Trail and enables you to walk to Mt. McCausland.
Bring a map so you don’t end up on the wrong trail.
Keep your dog leashed and
bring plenty of poop bags.
11. Wallace Falls State Park
Features include lakes, rivers, and a 256-foot waterfall.
A 2.1-mile, well-maintained hike that’s suitable for beginners looking for a challenge.
The park and campgrounds are busy on weekends, so visit during the week for a quieter walk.
You’ll need to purchase a Discover Pass at the parking lot if you don’t already have one.
Keep your dog leashed to respect other hikers and the local wildlife.
12. Snoqualmie Lake Trail
You’ll need a Northwest Forest Pass to park.
There are two trailheads to suit hikers with varying levels of experience.
Drive carefully on the road to the parking lot, as there are potholes.
A well-maintained, moderately difficult trail that follows Taylor River.
There are many bridges, so
keep your dog leashed for safety.
13. Gold Creek Trail
You’ll need to purchase a Discover Pass to park at the trailhead.
There are several trails to choose from, including flatter options for less experienced or mobile hikers.
You might encounter horses or cyclists, so keep your dog leashed.
The trails aren’t marked; bring a map so you don’t get lost.
Moderate difficulty for experienced hikers or novices looking for a challenge.
14. Tiger Mountain Trail
Watch out for horses and cyclists—your dog needs to be leashed!
A lengthy and difficult trail for experienced hikers and energetic dogs.
Located on a busy road, so watch out for other vehicles, and don’t leave valuables in your car.
There is limited parking but no pass is required.
Features old signs acknowledging the volunteers who helped build the trail in the 1970s.
15. Mirror Lake Trail
You’ll need snowshoes and poles in winter, as the snow gets deep.
An easy, short hike located on the Pacific Crest Trail.
There are campsites located around Mirror Lake, but they fill up quickly, so arrive early.
Both Mirror Lake and Cottonwood Lake are great places to take a break and let your dog swim.
The parking lot is small and requires a short walk along the road to reach the trailhead.
16. Deception Pass State Park
Pick up after your dog, and keep them leashed to respect your fellow park guests.
38 miles of trails that are suitable for all skill levels.
There are forested trails, campgrounds, and beach access.
Discover Pass required.
Parking can be difficult due to the park’s popularity.
Next time that you grab your hiking boots to head out on a trail,
take your dog with you to explore one of these dog-friendly hikes. They might not want to take pictures of the gorgeous views or scenic waterfalls, but they’ll love all the new smells and might even enjoy swimming in a cool lake. Always remember to leave the trail as you found it by picking up your dog’s poop and taking your trash with you when you leave.
Featured Image Credit: Osadcha Olga, Shutterstock