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Visiting the Pacific Northwest (PNW) with your Dog


The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a geographic region in the north-western United States. Sometimes referred to as Cascadia, the PNW has no official boundaries and the states included in this region vary, but it’s commonly perceived to include the Canadian province of British Columbia and the U.S. states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Hiking in the PNW with your Dog

The boundaries can also extend into Northern California, Western Montana and parts of Wyoming. The region's largest metropolitan areas are Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, and Metro Vancouver, British Columbia.

The PNW is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the West, and (loosely) by the Rock Mountains to the East.

Whether you’re a beach-goer, thrive in the city, or you love the mountainside, there’s a perfect destination for you and your dog in the PNW.

Map of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) courtesy of Wikitravel

Map of the PNW courtesy of Wikitravel

Top 8 destinations in PNW and surrounding areas!

1. Bend, Oregon

One destination in Bend Oregon to visit during your travels in the PNW is Smith Rock, in Smith Rock State Park.

Dogs are allowed on the Canyon trail, Chute trail, Homestead trail, North Point trail, and the Rim Rock trail, among others. It is a very dog-friendly state park with six-hundred-and-fifty-acres acres and plenty of trails to hike with your dog.

Also in the Bend, Oregon area is Deschutes National Forest. What’s unique about this Oregon destination is that the majority of Deschutes National Forest allows your dog to explore off-leash. This is rare!

In the summer, over 95% of the 1,200 miles of trails in the National Forest will allow dogs to be off-leash. Just make sure to be aware and in control of your dog while they explore the trails without the protection of a leash.

After a day on the trails, consider a kayak/canoe rental from Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe in the Deschutes River. Dogs are allowed on kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards! Or, enjoy a tubing trip along the Deschutes River. Don’t worry- the tubes have handles and netting to protect you and your dog from falling out.

After all your Oregon adventures, you may want to relax by watching a movie with your four-legged friend. Well, you’re in luck. In Bend, Oregon, there is the last remaining Blockbuster store to rent movies! Dogs are welcome into the store to help you pick out the perfect flick.

Bend Oregon in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

Bend Oregon in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

2. Mt Hood National Forest, Oregon

If you’re looking for an outdoor escapade, look no further than Mt Hood National Forest. The forest offers hiking trails galore with expansive forest views and panoramic mountains that go on for miles into the distance. A beautiful spot in the forest is Buck Lake, pictured above, where your pet can cool off after a long hike.

After your day among the trees, check out a dog-friendly brewery such as Mt. Hood Brewing Co.

Then get a good night’s sleep at Mt. Hood Oregon Resort.

2.	Mt Hood National Forest, Oregon in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

Mt Hood National Forest, Oregon

3. Portland, Oregon

During your stay in Portland, there are plenty of options for you and your dog to enjoy. We recommend the Wildwood trail in Forest Park, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden (a luscious botanical garden), and the Portland Saturday Market.

If you’re interested in doing some wine tasting, check out Plum Hill Vineyards. Yes, you can bring your dog with you to sip on some wine! The winery has a fenced-in dog area and a dog-friendly patio.

In downtown Portland, you’ll find the pet-friendly AC Hotel which follows a minimalist European design that Americans will find unique compared to other hotels in the area.

After your visit in the city, take a visit to Walton Beach on Sauvie Island. Walton Beach is known to be one of the best sandy beaches in Portland!

Portland Oregon in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

4. Vancouver Island, Crofton Canada

Vancouver Island is one of the best dog-friendly vacations in Canada because there are so many places to explore! Whether you hang on the beach or hit the trails, Vancouver Island offers a plethora of opportunities for you to enjoy. This includes Strathcona Provincial Park which is one of the premier and most well-known hiking destinations in British Columbia. The park is known for having the tallest mountains on Vancouver Island such as the Golden Hinde, Elkhorn and Mt. Colonel Foster. These mountains offer terrific views- whether you hike to the top or prefer to view the mountainside from your resort or hotel.

Speaking of resorts, check out the dog-friendly Tigh-Na-Mara Resort in Parksville. It’s a seaside spa resort that includes 22 acres for exploring. Plus, there are beautiful forested ocean views that you won’t want to miss. Vancouver Island also offers pet-friendly campgrounds and rental homes.

Vancouver Island, Crofton Canada

Vancouver Island, Crofton Canada

5. Seattle, Washington

In Seattle, WA, dogs are welcome on Seattle public transit which includes buses, ferries, and the light rail. This makes it easy to explore the city and all the shopping and food that Seattle has to offer. Plus, there are indoor pet playgrounds located around Seattle for your dog to run around with fellow city-dogs. The Washington Park Arboretum, a park located in this beautiful and bustling city, offers many trails that you can explore with your dog.

When it’s time to stop exploring the city, Hotel Max is a pet-friendly hotel that you can stay at with your four-legged friend.

And if you’re not the urban type, no worries! Not far from Seattle is Hood Canal. Hood Canal offers plenty of pet-friendly hiking trails. Hood Canal is a fjord (a long, narrow inlet of the sea between cliffs). At Dosewallips State Park, you and your dog can explore the shoreline of Hood Canal or the shore adjacent to Dosewallips River.

Seattle, Washington in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

Seattle, Washington in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

6. Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier is an icon of Washington state. According to the National Park Service, Mount Rainier is an active volcano with the most glaciated peak in the United States. Subalpine wildflower meadows and forests surround the volcano. What a sight to behold!

While dogs aren’t allowed on trails in Mount Rainier, leashed dogs are welcome on roads, parking lots and some campgrounds within the park. Another option would be having your dog stay at a nearby kennel while you explore the park for a day.

As for loding, Alta Crystal Resort provides dog-friendly lodging for your visit to Mount Rainier.

Outside of Mount Rainier, you and your dog can hike around Alta Crystal Resort and Crystal Mountain. Plus, if you’re looking for an extra adventure, the Mt. Rainier Gondola is pet-friendly in the summer, so you can go in the gondola lift with your dog! Now, we’re convinced!

Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington in the Paciific Northwest (PNW)

Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

7. Leavenworth, WA / Pacific Crest Trail

Located in the Cascade foothills, Leavenworth is a dog-friendly town modeled after a Bavarian village. If you’re planning to stay in town, check out Icicle Village which is a pet-friendly resort.

Most notably, the town of Leavenworth is close to the Pacific Crest Trail which provides a wonderful opportunity for a day hike with your dog. The Pacific Crest Trail goes all along the West Coast. If you’re up for a real adventure, consider going on a backpacking trip through the Pacific Crest Trail. It is a beautiful, angelic trail that will put you close to nature and diverse wildlife.

Leavenworth, WA - Pacific Crest Trail in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

Leavenworth, WA - Pacific Crest Trail

8. Redwoods / Northern California

Northern California is sometimes considered to be a part of the PNW. Frankly, it depends on who you ask! Regardless, Northern California and especially the Redwoods National Forest is an unforgettable destination that you won’t want to miss.

Known as the humble abode to the tallest trees on Earth, the parks in the Redwoods Forest also protect prairies, oak woodlands, wild riverways, and 40 miles of jagged coastline. The park’s forests, hills, rivers and coastline support diverse wildlife like Roosevelt Elk, whales, and seals. So, keep your eyes peeled to spot one of these precious animals in their natural habitat.

Pets are not allowed on park trails in Redwood National and State Parks which includes Jedediah Smith Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. However, if you want to walk through old-growth redwoods with your leashed pet, try Cal Barrel Road in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, or Walker Road in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Further,  there are plenty of scenic drives around the park that will provide you and your dog the sights and smells of the Redwood Forest.

Redwoods Northern California

Redwoods Northern California

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