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Top USA Hiking Trails: Dog-Friendly Edition!

So, you want to hike with your fur baby. You wonder, “Which one is the best of the best?”. Well, if you’ve taken this question to Google and stumbled upon this article, I’m here to tell you where to find the top USA hiking trails that are dog-friendly! It’s a guaranteed good time for you and your fur baby. Although all of these trails are worth visiting, there is one that stands out from all the rest! Can you tell which one it is? Well, grab the pet harness and your favourite sneakers because it’s time to hit the road!

1. Mission Peak Loop in California

Hit the top USA Hiking Trail; Dog-Friendly Edition

Near Milpitas in California lies the 9.3-kilometre Mission Peak Loop. With an elevation of 651 metres, it is not a surprise that this is one of the USA’s top dog-friendly hiking trails! Although it is considered a challenging trail, Mission Peak is still an acclaimed route for hiking, camping and even horseback riding! As you ascend Mission Peak, you are met with paws-itively euphoric views of South Bay.

Moreover, if weather permits, make sure you see the skylines of Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. For the fur babies, it’s best to keep them on their leash as horseriding is also permitted here. You don’t want an accident when it comes to your pet, so be sure to hold them close to you.

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2. Lands End Trail in San Francisco, California

Hit the top USA Hiking Trail; Dog-Friendly Edition

This 5.5-kilometre San Francisco trail explores the historic Sutro Baths and features breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. In fact, this is the most interesting dog-friendly USA hiking trail on this list! Why? Because this mountain trail is dotted with shipwrecks and jaw-dropping scenes of landslides. Certainly, this is a must-visit trail for you and your pet.

Lands End trail offers a cliff-top walk under a canopy of dark cypress, open grass fields and views that stretch up and down the California coast. This trail is by far the most stunning, and there’s no doubt that the fur baby and the entire family will enjoy hiking here!

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3. First and Second Flatirons Loop in Boulder, Colorado

Hit the top USA Hiking Trail; Dog-Friendly Edition

The First and Second Flatirons trail has an elevation gain of 435 metres and is considered moderately challenging. It’s a short hike of 4.3 kilometres, but don’t underestimate its difficulty. This goes without saying but, always make sure you are wearing the right attire.

First and Second Flatirons is Travel Colorado’s top dog-friendly hiking trail in the USA. This is mainly because of its amazing sandstone rock slabs and panoramic views of Boulder. Here, dogs are allowed to be off-leash in certain areas but do make sure it’s safe before you let them run after squirrels in the bushes.

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4. Royal Arch Trail in Boulder, Colorado

Hit the top USA Hiking Trail; Dog-Friendly Edition

Royal Arch Trail is a 5.5-kilometre dog-friendly USA hiking trail filled with pure ecstasy. This gorgeous route is located near Boulder, Colorado and is considered a challenging route. So make sure that you’re fit enough before going. Also, make sure your dog is in a position to complete this challenging trail.

Remember to bring water and snacks for you and your fur baby! While here, get up close to the amazing rock formations that have become so emblematic of Boulder. Much of the elevation gain (448 metres by the way) is due to the climb to Sentinel Pass. The unbelievable views from atop the Rocky Mountains make you realise why the Royal Arch trail is such a local favourite.

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5. Runyon Canyon Trail in Los Angeles, California

Hit the top USA Hiking Trail; Dog-Friendly Edition

Near West Hollywood lies California lies the 4.3 moderately challenging Runyon Canyon trail. This popular trail is for hikers, runners and slow walkers. Best of all, Dogs are allowed to be off-leash in certain areas.

Hiking here allows you to see Hollywood in a different light. With sunset views waiting for you over the metropolis of West Hollywood, the effort of getting to the main viewpoint is well worth it. Remember, Los Angeles is summer year-round, so don’t forget water for you and your fur baby!

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6. Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop

Hit the top USA Hiking Trail; Dog-Friendly Edition

According to AllTrails, this is the best dog-friendly hiking trail in the USA. In fact, It’s longer than the rest, too! Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop is a 13-kilometre hiking route located near Lincoln, New Hampshire. Equally important, it features some challenging terrains for you and the fur baby to hike out! With that said, make sure that you and your pet are fully prepared for this hike as it contains rugged terrain and all kinds of weather conditions.

This trail is leash-free on certain parts, but if that’s the case, be sure to supervise your pet as some parts could be steep and rugged. However, the payoff is the impeccable views of the White Mountain National Forest!

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7. Steward Cascade Trail Number 056 in Utah

Hit the top USA Hiking Trail; Dog-Friendly Edition

Last but certainly not least is Steward Cascade Trail #056 located near Aspen Grove in Utah. This trail is equally as breathtaking as it is challenging. Featuring a light waterfall when completing the hike, this is definitely one of the top dog-friendly hiking trails in the USA!

Steward Cascade is a 5.8-kilometre trail of mountain ascension and breathtaking views which greet you the higher you go. Here’s my suggestion: try to pack a light makeshift picnic. This allows you to spend a few extra hours taking pictures and simply marvelling at the cascade. Why not spend an hour or two longer? Your fur baby would not mind at all, especially because this trail is mostly leash-free!

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Let’s Paws for a Moment

Hit the top USA Hiking Trail; Dog-Friendly Edition

Getting up and taking your dog for a walk is one of life’s greatest joys. However, where you go matters. Fortunately, this list enables you to easily pick the destination. Now that I’ve told you where to find the top dog-friendly hiking trails in the USA, all that’s left is for you to get going to become a dog-tor in hiking with furry friends!

So let’s paws for a moment and go for a walk. Hiking is good for the entire family and healthier than watching Netflix all day! So why don’t you get up, grab the leash, put some sunscreen on and head down to one of these dog-friendly hiking destinations? You’re guaranteed to have a paw-ty of a time! Don’t forget the water bottles.

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Hi there! I’m Megan, an absolute lover of words, literature, books, stories, anything that has to do with writing, reading, imagining. Because of my passion, I decided to make writing my life, and with that, I decided to study BA Languages at the University of Pretoria and am happy to report that I made my dream come true by graduating and becoming a travel writer. During my final year I wrote for my campus newspaper, the PDBY, where I learned to trust my writing voice. Now, as I sit here writing my petit little bio, I feel more in love with writing than I’ve ever been. Turns out, like much of my personality, my writing can equally showcase both the calm and put-together, as well as the crazy.