The Best Hikes To Take With Your Dog in the Great Outdoors
Planning a hiking adventure is chock-full of fitness fun, spectacular scenery to soak up, and amazing memories to be made that will last a lifetime. It's an extraordinary way to embrace and enjoy the great outdoors with your BFF, aka best furry friend. Not only is it an aerobic workout for you, but it's also an excellent way for your dog to use their mental and physical energy as well. There's a stunning selection of picturesque hiking trails to choose from across the country, with varying levels of terrain and distance. So we've put together a solid list of some of the best hikes to take with your dog. It's time to fill your backpack with plenty of water and snacks, and get ready to experience a superb getaway in the great outdoors.
Before you embark on a hiking journey, be certain to check any rules and restrictions specific to the location. Be mindful of hiking etiquette and the National Parks B.A.R.K. rule if you choose a national park: "Bag your pet's waste; Always leash your pet; Respect wildlife; Know where you can go." The American Kennel Club offers great hiking safety tips to abide with your pup, which can be found here. (For example, hiking with your furry friend when it's too hot out is a major no-no, and be sure to bring ample water for your pup to lap up while on the trails.)
Now it's time to snuggle with your pup, grab a Milk-Bone, and consider these magnificent destinations that await throughout the country! Read on to learn more about the best hikes to take with your dog, and next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Royal Arch Trail—Boulder, Colorado
This challenging trail stretches 3.1 miles long and is close to Boulder, Colorado. According to AllTrails, this trail is rated as one of the best dog-friendly routes in the U.S. Plan to take close to 2 ½ hours to complete this fun outdoor adventure, and note that prime time for hiking Royal Arch is from March to October. For areas of this trail, your pooch can be off-leash, if desired.
The Royal Arch Trail leads to the stone arch, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of Boulder and the Flatirons. Get ready to soak up the picturesque scenery and amazing rock formations.
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Whiteoak Canyon to Cedar Run Loop—Stanley, Virginia
This trail will take you and your fur baby along six breathtaking waterfalls and beautiful river views for about 9 miles in Stanley, Virginia. The summer months are very plush with foliage. In fact, this trail was apparently rated by Nicholas Crow, Hiking Project contributor, "among the best hikes—if not the best hike—in Shenandoah" (via REI).
Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyon Loop—Emery County, Utah
If you're looking for an off-leash experience, explore this almost-9-mile maze-like canyon trail. A harness is recommended for some of the more challenging hiking parts. This remarkable area of south central Utah has big drops and stimulating climbs, and it's home to Bighorn sheep. Don't forget your camera—this trail is extremely popular for great reason!
Related: 5 Secret Side Effects of Hiking More Right Now, Science Says
Wetmore Landing—Marquette, Michigan
If you're game for a long hike (just over 7 miles, to be exact), Wetmore Landing in Michigan is a perfect choice. You can even check out the beach after your hike, or drop by Phil's 550 for some fun treats afterward. The terrain of this hike is filled with bridges, boulders, rocks, steep parts, and rolling hills. You will enjoy stunning views from the clifftop overlooking Lake Superior. Pure Michigan recommends coming equipped with bug spray, quality hiking shoes, plenty of water, and of course, your dog's leash.
Bear Mountain Trail Loop—Bear Mountain, New York
The Bear Mountain 3.8-mile trail is considered to be a moderate-level hike. The route offers a sprawling view of mountains rising up above the sparkling waters of the Hudson River. Note that this trail is certainly for the furry friends who are game to get a good amount of exercise in!
Related: The Best Indoor Exercises To Do With Your Dog This Summer
Wonderland Trail—Acadia National Park, Maine
This is considered an easy 1.4-mile trail in Maine. It will bring you through the forest to the ocean. Not only can you hike the trail, but Acadia National Park also offers other fun outdoor activities, like fishing and skiing.
Tubbs Hill—Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
This is a beginner trail stretch that's 2 miles along the stunning Lake Coeur d'Alene. On average, it should take around 52 minutes to hike from start to finish. You can check out the beautiful lake beach and enjoy this serene, mountainous part of the country with your pup.
Lady of the Woods or Pacific Crest Trail—Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
If you'd like a trail that's more off the beaten path, the Lady of the Woods is definitely the road less traveled. Just over ½ mile long, it has mountain views and is surrounded by woods. Also located right in Crater Lake National Park is the popular (or should we say pupular) Pacific Crest Trail, which is just over 32 miles long.