Pet Friendly Hiking Trails
There are an abundance of pet friendly hiking trails throughout the U.S. from the coast of Maine to the San Francisco Bay. We’ve charted and provided details on many, for nearly every city and travel destination in America. Among the most popular states for their many hiking trails are Colorado, California, Utah, Arizona, Connecticut, Nevada, Montana, Maine and Virginia. Most trails that are pet friendly allow dogs on 6 foot leashes, however, there are a handful that allow off-leash hiking. No matter what pet friendly hiking trail you choose, make sure to bring plenty of water, food, sunscreen and booties for your pet’s paws should conditions call for it. A first aid kit is always a must.
Following is a list of fun trails you and your pooch may enjoy:
Slide Rock State Park – Sedona, Arizona
This park acquired its name from its naturally formed rock slide cut into the sandstone along a slippery creek bottom. It’s a popular 1/2 mile swim area with lots of nearby hiking. This park began as a 43-acre apple farm so you will find several historical structures on the property. Its trails are picturesque. There are two short and easy trials, one called Hospital Trail, which meanders among the sycamore, locust cottonwood, and oak trees near the spectacular canyon wall on the western side of the orchard. The other skirts the water where there are several benches for humans to take a breather and absorb the gorgeous scenery. In the fall, these trails are a kaleidoscope f color and light. Slide Rock State Park is opens at 8 a.m. year round. Closing times vary according to the season. Admission is $8 per car (for up to 4 adults) and $2 for pedestrians. Prices may vary slightly. For more information call (928) 282-3034.
Mammoth Lakes, Mono County
Briceburg Canyon Trail - The hike begins at the Bureau of Land Management’s Briceburg Visitor’s Center on Hwy. 140. There is a day-use parking lot with a nearby suspension bridge. take a right at the end of the bridge and follow the former route of the Yosemite Valley Railroad grade going up river. Call the Briceburg Visitor Center (209) 379-9414
Wind Caves – Coyote Mountain Wilderness – A guided hike
Access from EC Route 093 off Highway S2, just west of Ocotillo, California. This is a moderate to strenuous hike that ebbs and flows through washes with some strenuous climbing on unmaintained and exposed trail. The hike runs approximately five miles roundtrip. The last 1/4 mile is a steep climb along a narrow rock trails. You may want to fit your dog in booties to protect his paws. You and your pet should be in good shape for this hike. You will explore wind caves and fossil reef formation. Take plenty of water, food and sunscreen for you and your dog, as the trip takes approximately 6-7 hours and there are not many shaded areas.
Guide Restrictions/Requirements: 10 dogs or 20 hikers is the limit, with no more than one dog per handler. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. A BLM Park Ranger will accompany you for the hike. It’s free, but reservations are required by calling (760) 337-4400 or Park Ranger Daniel Baca at (760) 337-4477.
Tahoe Rim Trail – Lake Tahoe, California – Placer County
Take your pooch on the Tahoe City portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail that traverses though a forest of pine trees. Enjoy vies of Lake Tahoe. The trail runs 165 miles winding from peak to peak around Lake Tahoe, however, the trial section from Tahoe City is 19.2 miles. Dogs are allowed off leash making for a wonderful day with your pooch in one of California’s most spectacular areas.
Appalachian Trail (Eastern & Southern U.S.)
This dog friendly hiking trail spreads through 2,000 miles and 14 states from Georgia to Maine. It passes through several state and national parks, public lands and forests. Leashed dogs are allowed to hike along on most of the trail. Park officials suggest that you and your do wear blaze orange all all times so you won’t be mistaken for deer by hunters. Parts of the trail are rugged and the weather can present challenging weather conditions and your pooch must be in good health and able to endure this level of hiking. There are other areas that are flat or smooth. The trail was built specifically for hikers so you will not find bikers nor horse riders.
Little Spar Lake Trail, Troy, Montana
Within the Kootenai National Forest, enjoy an 8-mile roundtrip hike with your pooch up to Little Spar Lake. You will enjoy the meadows at higher elevations and the hike’s many cliffs beyond Little Spar Lake, which is in the Scotchman Peak basin. Giant cedars tower high above. Dogs may swim in the lake, but the water is extremely cold throughout the year so be mindful of this. There are bears, wolves, coyotes and cougars that may be found roaming the area. The lake is only open during summer, because of heavy winter snows.
Shenandoah National Park