Traveling with a Dog to Seattle Makes for an Adventurous Experience!
Western Washington is one of the most beautiful areas of the country and is a Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. The mountains offer amazing views and hundreds of miles of trails. Most trails are within a one to three hour drive of Seattle.
If traveling with a dog makes for the perfect vacation, and you and your dog love to hike, you will love it here. Virtually every trail in Washington that is not inside a National Park is open to dogs, as long as they are leashed and you pick up after them. Seattleites love hitting the trails with their dogs. Every time we go out hiking, at least half of the people we come across on the trail have their dogs with them.
As locals, we get out to hike as much as we can. Here are a few of our favorite trails within three hours of the City.
One Hour Drive
1. Rattlesnake Ledge – This hike climbs moderately for 2 miles (4 miles round trip) to an amazing viewpoint. At the top, you emerge from the woods onto a broad, rocky ledge. There are amazing views of the Snoqualmie Valley and Rattlesnake Lake 1,000 feet below. It is a popular lunch spot and on a sunny day you may be hard pressed to find a place to sit. This is trail is one of our favorites in winter because it is typically snow free.
2. Lake TwentyTwo – This almost 3 mile (5.4 miles round trip) trail climbs to a small wilderness lake set beneath an impressive vertical wall of rock. To fully take in the scenery you can hike an optional 1 mile path around the lake. This is a moderate but doable hike with several switchbacks and short sets of stairs. We love this hike because it’s not too hard and the view of the lake and Mt. Pilchuck are amazing.
Two Hour Drive
3. Lake Serene – This trail climbs to a sparking lake tucked beneath the towering, jagged Mount Index. Part way up you can take a half-mile side trip to the impressive and beautiful Bridal Veil Falls. This trail is 3.5 miles long (7 miles round trip) and moderately steep but well worth the effort. In winter, the access road is often partially covered in snow so be prepared to potentially extend your hike by a couple of miles.
4. Lake Valhalla – As the name implies, when you reach this lake you may just feel like you have found paradise. This is a poplar hike any time of the year but is a favorite snowshoe hike in the winter. The Skykomish Ranger District naturalists offer free guided snowshoe tours on the weekends. This hike winds 5.5 miles (11 miles round trip) through majestic trees to this sparkling lake in a subalpine setting. The trail starts out as a gentle climb along an old railroad bed and is followed by a moderate ascent to the lake.
Three Hour Drive
5. Skyline Divide – This is one our favorite trails of all time. The views are some of the most amazing in the state! Views include abundant wildflower meadows in the spring, peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands and the pinnacle of the hike – the impressive Mount Baker. On a clear day, if you continue up and climb the ridge, you can watch steam lazily rise out of this glaciated, active volcano. Next to Mount Rainier, this is probably the second most iconic mountain in the State. This 9 mile hike (round trip) is easy to moderate at times. You can turn back two miles in though and still get to take in plenty of spectacular views.
6. Spruce Railroad Trail – This rail is special for many reasons. It is one of the only trails in the State that is within a National Park yet open to dogs. It skirts the expansive, brilliant, turquoise Lake Crescent – the second deepest lake in the state. In the summer, locals gather at the Devil’s Punchbowl to jump off the cliffs and plunge into the refreshing water. There are also two old tunnels left from the railroad line that used to run along the lake. The rolling trail is 8 miles round trip but you can turn around at any point and not be disappointed.
There are literally thousands of trails in Washington State and you can find one within about an hour of almost any town. So if you come here for business or leisure do not miss out on this amazing opportunity.
Jessica Rae lives in Seattle with her two weiner dogs and is the creator and publisher of You Did What With Your Weiner, a blog that shares their hiking adventures with the world and promotes the Trail-ing Your Dog to Better Health ™ movement. You can also find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner.
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Remember, if you are visiting Seattle from out of town, booking early is essential when traveling with pets. See what’s available today so you get the best deals. Start your search for pet friendly hotels in Seattle here. Then sit back and think of all the fun things hikes you can go on when you get there!