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Backpacking with dogs?
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brenda harris
(hikeswithdogs) - F
Backpacking with dogs? on 10/16/2009 14:36:36 MDT Print View

Hi everyone. I'm embarking on a cross-country trip with my dog and looking to do some backpacking along the way. Since I'm not limited by state, this question goes out to all of you:

Where have you gone backpacking that allows dogs, and is a good, multi-day hike for people as well?


PS. If you know anywhere near the San Francisco Bay Area, that's my home base.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Backpacking with dogs? on 10/16/2009 16:59:46 MDT Print View

California is a very dog-unfriendly state; dogs are forbidden on trails in California state parks. This is not true with parks in other states that I've encountered. Generally, though, dogs must be on leash.

US National Parks nationwide forbid dogs on trails. The only exceptions I've found are the paved trails on the Yosemite Valley floor and on the portions of the Pacific Crest Trail that lie within Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades National Parks.

Some sections of some national forests are closed to dogs (such as the Enchantment Lakes section of Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness), but for the most part dogs are welcome on trails in US National Forests, whether inside or outside wilderness areas. They are often required to be on leash and are always required to be under your control. If your dog won't come to you immediately on command regardless of the temptation (such as a squirrel right under his nose), then he's not under control!

Basically, taking a dog out backpacking is like taking a child--you have to hike his hike, not vice versa. The difference is that the dog, unlike the child, will often keep going to please you if he is hurting or overtired, so you have constantly to assess his condition. A child will have a meltdown when hurt or tired, something dogs normally don't do!

Note that for your cross-country trip, dogs are hardly ever allowed on public transit. You'll basically have to use your own car. If you're hiking the American Discovery Trail or one of the north-south border-to-border trails, you will inevitably find some jurisdictions that you'll have to bypass or arrange care for your dog because dogs are not allowed.

A lot of the best backpacking trails in the western US are in the mountains and are already starting to receive winter snow. Had you thought of doing this next year?

Jim Carr
(jcarr) - F

Locale: Humboldt County
dogs on 10/19/2009 11:53:12 MDT Print View

You can hike in the Trinity Alps, Marble Mountains, Yola Bolly Mountains, Kings Range, Sinkyone, Just to name some in Northern CA.

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
Hoover Wilderness, Ca dog friendly on 10/19/2009 13:03:16 MDT Print View

Hey, Jim, thanks for those tips for dog friendly wilderness. Yeah, I've heard that Northern Ca and Humbolt County specifically, is more open to dogs.

But here's an area in the Sierras that's not Parked in, and totally dog friendly with all the Eastern High Sierra beauty to enjoy... plus it's just a jog across the 120 or 108 from SF/Bay, outside Bridgeport. DO stop at the "Mobile Restaurant" at the 395/120 for dinner or lunch. Phenomenal surprise!

Hoover Wilderness:

Here's my trip from a couple weeks ago:

Currently, snow is packing down for elevations above 9000' but you will probably still be able to get through to Peeler Lake. Especially with the continued melt.

cheers, enjoy

Edited by uberkatzen on 10/19/2009 13:08:27 MDT.