The Best Dog-friendly Hikes in the U.S. — From Easy Loops to Tougher Treks
As any dog owner knows, exploring new terrain with a pup can be extremely entertaining — there are endless new smells, strange sounds, and plenty of terrain ripe for romping. That's why it can be devastating to arrive at a trailhead only to realize dogs aren't allowed.
With that in mind, researching trail pet policies is key, as is packing along the essentials needed to keep your dog well-behaved, hydrated, and happy — from a reliable leash and harness to a water bowl and pocket full of treats. And if you happen to be located in one of the following seven states — or have a summer road trip in the works — make sure to swing by these dog-friendly hikes, which were rated as some of the best by users on AllTrails.
Herman Gulch Trail, Colorado
In Colorado, it doesn't take long to get out of the city and into the mountains. Just over 30 minutes west of Denver is the town of Idaho Springs, home to hot springs and the ultra dog-friendly Herman Gulch Trail. The hike is a seven-mile, out-and-back excursion that welcomes pups. It's rated as moderate, so you'll want to give yourself plenty of time for breaks (and dog snacks) along the way.
Devils Canyon Scenic Area Trail & Bushwhack, Arkansas
This pup-approved trail is found in the Ozark National Forest in northern Arkansas. Along the 4.6-mile loop, you'll pass grottos, rock formations, and a couple of beautiful waterfalls, which will keep both you and your pup happy. Pack along a doggie life vest (we love this one from Ruffwear) or a floating toy, if you think your furry friend might be up for a swim.
Ski Lake Trail, Wyoming
This trail is found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Jackson Hole. In addition to welcoming dogs, the five-mile trail ends at a lake with stunning views of Grand Teton. Just keep an eye on your four-legged friend, as moose and bears are known to cross the path from time to time.
North Fork Mountain Trail to Chimney Top, West Virginia
This 5.3-mile hike is rated as difficult for its steady climb and steep push to the top, but anyone who has made it to the summit swears the views from Chimney Top are well worth the effort. Just make sure to bring plenty of water and a lightweight hiking bowl for Fido.
Tubbs Hill, Idaho
Idaho may be known for its mountainous lifestyle, but you don't have to be an avid trekker to take on this dog-friendly route. Tubbs Hill is an easy, two-mile loop that circles the base of Tubbs Hill on the edge of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Even better, the hike is accessible from downtown Coeur d'Alene and provides lakefront beach access.
Runyon Canyon Trail, California
You don't have to brave L.A. traffic to find a trail for you and your dog to enjoy — all you have to do is head to Runyon Canyon Park just north of West Hollywood. The park's Runyon Canyon Trail is a 2.7-mile loop with views over the city and plenty of space for your pup to romp around. Tip: Pack plenty of water — for you both — and extra sunscreen.
Arden Point and Glenclyffe, New York
Garrison, New York, is only one and a half hours from the city by train, but it feels worlds away. The Hudson River-adjacent Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve has plenty to see and do, but don't overlook the Arden Point and Glenclyffe trail, especially if you have a dog. The 3.8-mile, dog-friendly loop provides views over the Hudson and lots of swimming spots perfect for a mid-hike pup dip.