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Outdoor Guide for Dogs in Washington State

Time outdoors should be fun for the entire family. Yes, this includes our tail-wagging friends too. When it comes to choosing hikes for our dogs it is important to know the precautionary measures you need to take to ensure a safe experience for all parties. Here, you will find trail rules for our furry friends in Washington State.

Also, don't forget to bring your recreational pass with you for trails that need them. To learn more about which pass you need, visit (i.e. Northwest Forest Pass, Washington's Discover Pass, etc.).

A man kneeling beside a dog between the trees at a park

National Forest

Are dogs allowed in national forests? Yes, but with restrictions in some areas.

Dogs are generally permitted on U.S. Forest Service trails. In order to reduce heavy hiker use and preserve the fragile ecosystem, there are some areas where dogs are not permitted or must be on leash. These include the popular Enchantments area and Lake Ingalls Trail. 


National Parks

Are dogs allowed in national parks? Yes, but with strict trail restrictions.

National parks welcome pets in developed areas, on many trails and campgrounds, and in some lodging facilities. Pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet, caged, or crated at all times. Pets are not permitted on trails or in the backcountry.

  • Mount Rainier: Pets are not permitted on trails, except the Pacific Crest Trail. Pets are permitted in parking lots, campgrounds, and on paved roads. 
  • North Cascades: While pets are not allowed in most of the North Cascades National Park, they are allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail. Leashed pets are allowed within the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas.
  • Olympic National Parks: Pets are allowed on the following trails in the park. Campgrounds allow pets as long as they are not left unattended.


State Parks

Are dogs allowed in Washington state parks? Yes.

State law (Washington Administrative Code 352-32-060) allows dogs to be in state parks, provided they are on a leash no longer than eight feet and are under control at all times. Dogs are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and on established trails. They are not allowed in park buildings or in natural area preserves.

King County Parks

Are dogs allowed in Seattle parks? Yes, with off-leash options.
Seattle Parks and Recreation welcomes dog owners to enjoy most parks (on a leash) and offer 14 exciting Off-Leash options to explore. At these designated off-leash areas, your furry friends are free to run around, socialize with canine pals, and work out leash-free. Off-leash areas include:

Reminder: Dogs are not allowed at organized athletic fields, beaches, or children's play areas in Seattle parks, per the Seattle Municipal Code. Dogs must be on a leash at all times unless inside the boundaries of the designated off-leash areas.

Want to stay closer to the city? The Ballard Locks, Washington Park Arboretum, Myrtle Edwards Park and Discovery Park are also great options. Or, if you are looking for a dog-friendly beach hang out. Check out the Edmonds Off-Leash Area.

If you're also looking to take your dog around the city, check out our favorite dog-friendly spots in Seattle, including restaurants, cafes, and breweries.

What should I bring for my dog on the hike?

Below are some things Washington Trails Association recommends for your next outing:

  • Obedience Training
  • Leash and collar
  • Water and bowl
  • Dog food and treats
  • Plastic bags and trowel
  • ID tag and picture identification
  • Doggy backpack
  • Basic canine first-aid kit

Looking for more dog-friendly hikes? Discover your next hike here. Happy hiking!



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