Ready to go on some hikes with your dog that will knock your socks off?
Here are some of the best hikes in the United States, selected for their amazing beauty and rated by their difficulty.
Just remember to keep your dog on a leash, bring enough water, and be respectful of other hikers and of nature. Make sure to pick up your dog’s poop and carry the bag out with you!
1. Dog Mountain, Washington
(6.0 miles round trip, 2800 ft elevation gain; moderate to difficult; mountain is 2948 ft)
It’s almost a requirement that you do the Dog Mountain hike with your dog. A moderate to difficult hike on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, you are greeted by wildflowers along the way (in spring) and gorgeous (pun intended!) views from the top of the mountain.
The top is the perfect place for a picnic.
2. Tunnel Falls, Oregon
(12.0 miles round trip, 1640 ft elevation gain; moderate)
If you’re looking for something more flat (but still with mileage), check out Tunnel Falls.
The main event is the giant waterfall at the end with a tunnel behind it, but along the way there are enough other waterfalls to knock several pairs of your socks off.
Because of this, it’s like two hikes in one—if you get to Tunnel Falls, great, but if not, you still see a ton of waterfalls along the way.
Be advised that there are some steep drop offs and slippery sections along the trail, so be sure your dog wears a harness and keep them on the leash.
3. West Glacier Trailhead to the Mendenhall Ice Caves, Juneau, Alaska
(6.8 miles round trip, 1,300 ft elevation gain; moderate)
Ice ice doggy! Da nah nah nah nah nah nah nah!
Ever been to an ice cave? They are amazing! The hike to the caves starts near the campground/recreation area at the west end of Mendenhall Lake.
Take Skaters Cabin road to the end and park and continue along the trail at the end of the parking lot. The trail is mostly easy to moderate, though there are a few steep and rocky sections where your dog might need help.
You also get to walk through time!
The forest at the beginning of the trails is around 200 years old, and as you walk further, you go back in time until you reach forest that’s only 50 years old (near the glacier).
4. Sandstone Peak, Malibu, California
(6.1 miles, 1656 ft elevation gain; moderate)
If deserts with ocean views are your thing, this is a moderate hike with views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains. Sometimes you will even end up above the cloud line!
It’s a great place for watching a sunset…and to pretend that you are part of a cowboy gang!
5. Any Trail in Acadia National Park, Maine
(pick your mileage and elevation gain by grabbing a map at the park entrance when you grab your pass!)
One of the few national parks that allows dogs everywhere! This park is really choose-your-own-adventure; for example, you can climb a mountain, walk along the stunning Sand Beach (great name, I know), or explore a pond.
The park is stunning during every season, but I think the fall is the best! The colors are mind-blowing!
6. South Rim Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
(13 miles; elevation gain depends on where you start and stop; easy to moderate)
While dogs are not allowed in the canyon, there are plenty of breathtaking places where you can take them.
The South Rim Trail is one such place, and it follows the rim of the canyon from viewpoint to viewpoint. There are shuttle stops along the way should you get tired, but dogs are not allowed on the shuttle (you’ll have to coordinate a pickup with your hiking buddy).
Remember that there is no water along this trail, and temperatures from May to September can get very hot. For tips on how to spot dehydration, read this.
Should you wish to go in the canyon yourself, there is also a boarding facility on the South Rim listed on the National Park webpage about bringing pets.
7. Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
(3.7 miles round trip; 860 ft elevation gain; easy; mountain is 4,011 ft)
Want to climb a mountain? This is a great trail to start off with, as it’s easy and on clear days has some of the best views of Shenandoah National Park.
8. Anywhere along the Pacific Crest Trail
(California through Washington)
It really depends on where you go, but this trail goes through desert (on the south end), breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada, lush forests, by amazing alpine lakes, and through larch dotted mountains in the North Cascades.
Pick a section near you and prepare to be stunned. Trail is flat to hilly.
9. Maroon Lake Scenic Trail, Aspen, Colorado
(2.6 miles round trip; 500 ft elevation gain; easy)
Want the most bang for your buck? This is an easy scenic trail with a view of the very photogenic Maroon Bells. It starts at the parking lot and follows the circumference of the lake.
Dogs are allowed on the RFTA bus that goes from Aspen to the Bells, so you don’t even need to drive there!
During the summer, the hours for the trail are 8 am – 5 pm (as it is very popular).
10. Bird Ridge Trail, Anchorage, Alaska
(5.0 miles round trip, 3500 ft elevation gain; difficult)
If you and your dog are the super energetic type and need a trail with stunning, Instagram-worthy views, this is it. A real butt-kicker, this trail starts by going up, up…and doesn’t quit.