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In the foreground is a cliff. A black dog is standing on the cliff. In the distance are mountains and heavy fog. Shutterstock

10 dog-friendly hikes in and around Seattle

Take your best friends on some beautiful walks

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When it comes to spoiling our furry little pet pals, we spare no expenses to keep them happy. They say a tired dog is a happy dog, and thankfully, the city is chock full of off-leash dog parks, outdoor breweries, and pet-friendly mom and pop shops to cater to their every whim. Yet when it comes to hiking, another northwest staple, some of the more popular hiking destinations are off-limits to pets. It’s a bummer, but understandable considering the wildlife that calls the area home.

But that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of viable options. On the contrary, there are quite a few gorgeous, scenic hikes you can do around the area that will allow you to simultaneously enjoy two of the greatest things in life: dogs and nature. Important things to consider before venturing out with your best bud are the terrain, the difficulty, and any seasonal changes.

We’ve rounded up a few of our faves, both in and out of the city, mapped for your convenience.

Locations are mapped west to east.

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1. Sugarloaf and Mount Erie Loop Trail

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Mt Erie
Anacortes, WA 98221

Just outside of Anacortes sits one of the prettier, more nicely groomed hikes in Washington. Mount Erie isn’t particularly hard, but it contains some steep elevation points that will make you feel the burn. The reward at the top is spectacular, featuring some of the best views of the San Juan Islands that both you and your pup can take in once you reach the lookout.

2. Discovery Park

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3801 Discovery Park Blvd
Seattle, WA 98199
(206) 386-4236
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Magnolia’s Discovery Park is the largest park in the city, and unlike most of the other trails on the list, it’s relatively unpopulated. The massive grounds give way to wild grass clearings, thorny blackberry bushes, and sweeping views overlooking the Puget Sound. You can stay on the bluffs, or for a little extra challenge you can wander through the loop trail down to the beachfront and lighthouse. It’s worth it either way.

3. Washington Park Arboretum

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2300 Arboretum Dr E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 543-8800
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Seattle’s own version of a Central Park, the Washington Park Arboretum might be the closest thing we have in terms of a wide open, natural habitat nestled right in the city. A sprawling wetland that boasts one of the most diverse plant habitats in the country, it’s also a wonderful place to spend time with your pup. Hike to the shores of Lake Washington to observe ducks and kayakers cruising by, or gallop through trails of wild grass and oak trees. It’s almost impossible to not have a great time here.

4. Coal Creek Trail

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Just across Lake Washington on the east side of Newcastle is a casual, enjoyable trail on Cougar Mountain. The name refers to the area’s coal mining industry in the 1800s, and you can still see some of the mine shafts and even some steel carts if you poke around enough. Pets will love the moderate challenge, and there are few more pleasant hikes so close to the city.

5. Heather Lake Trail

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A pristine, picturesque lake that’s also conveniently close to the city, Heather Lake can be a challenge for the uninitiated. But if you can make your way through the 4.2 miles and more-than-1100-foot elevation, the reward is well worth the trip. Dip your toes, or paws, into the blue waters after you make your way past a steep uphill climb that’s mostly gravel and tree roots. It’s a bit of a rough and rugged hike, but probably more challenging for humans than our canine counterparts.

6. Rattlesnake Ledge

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This is one of the Seattle area’s favorite daytime hikes, as evidenced by the scores of hikers of all shapes, sizes, and age groups on the trail. The switchbacks are moderately challenging, yet short enough that doggies of pretty much any size can make it up with little issues. The trail is well-maintained and shadowed by tree foliage, so you’ll have little worries about keeping your pups cool even in the warmer months.

7. Lake Twenty-Two Trail

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Mountain Loop Hwy
Granite Falls, WA 98252
(360) 436-1155
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One of the prettier hikes on the list, Lake Twenty-Two is perched above an old growth forest adjacent to Mount Pilchuck. It’s fairly difficult, but nothing too crazy.

You make your way through a lush rainforest with towering cedars as you travel over stone pathways, wood bridges, and chilly creek crossings. Once you reach the top, you’ll find a tranquil, serene lake where you and your dog can be one with nature.

8. Mount Si Trail

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Mount Si is not for the faint-hearted; 7.1 miles and 3,200-foot elevation is nothing to sneeze at. It’s difficult, but a mostly shaded forest should keep you and your pal cool on a hot summer day. If you decide to brave it, bring lots of water and a highly active dog that could use the extra energy burn. The top is mostly rocks and boulders—so make sure both you and your buddy are sure-footed—with a fantastic view.

9. Twin Falls

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SE 159th St
North Bend, WA 98045
(425) 455-7010
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Twin Falls is a breezy, family-friendly hike if you’re looking for something chill and nothing super strenuous. A short drive takes you just past North Bend, and the 3.6-mile hike is a pleasant stroll past rivers, switchbacks, and cascading waterfalls. The icy streams offer a nice way for your pup to cool off on a warm day.

10. Franklin Falls Trailhead

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Denny Creek Trail
North Bend, WA 98045
(800) 627-0062
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A brief but rewarding hike with little elevation, Franklin Falls is a nice, quick destination situated right off of I-90 in the Snoqualmie area. The trail is fairly easy, so your dog likely won’t have any issues with it, particularly in the summertime. But for a more Instagram-worthy shot, go during the winter when the falls freeze over, making some of the largest icicles you’ll ever see. Just use extra caution, as it can get pretty dicey on the way down, even for four-legged hikers.

1. Sugarloaf and Mount Erie Loop Trail

Mt Erie, Anacortes, WA 98221

Just outside of Anacortes sits one of the prettier, more nicely groomed hikes in Washington. Mount Erie isn’t particularly hard, but it contains some steep elevation points that will make you feel the burn. The reward at the top is spectacular, featuring some of the best views of the San Juan Islands that both you and your pup can take in once you reach the lookout.

Mt Erie
Anacortes, WA 98221

2. Discovery Park

3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199

Magnolia’s Discovery Park is the largest park in the city, and unlike most of the other trails on the list, it’s relatively unpopulated. The massive grounds give way to wild grass clearings, thorny blackberry bushes, and sweeping views overlooking the Puget Sound. You can stay on the bluffs, or for a little extra challenge you can wander through the loop trail down to the beachfront and lighthouse. It’s worth it either way.

3801 Discovery Park Blvd
Seattle, WA 98199

3. Washington Park Arboretum

2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA 98112

Seattle’s own version of a Central Park, the Washington Park Arboretum might be the closest thing we have in terms of a wide open, natural habitat nestled right in the city. A sprawling wetland that boasts one of the most diverse plant habitats in the country, it’s also a wonderful place to spend time with your pup. Hike to the shores of Lake Washington to observe ducks and kayakers cruising by, or gallop through trails of wild grass and oak trees. It’s almost impossible to not have a great time here.

2300 Arboretum Dr E
Seattle, WA 98112

4. Coal Creek Trail

Coal Creek Trail, Washington

Just across Lake Washington on the east side of Newcastle is a casual, enjoyable trail on Cougar Mountain. The name refers to the area’s coal mining industry in the 1800s, and you can still see some of the mine shafts and even some steel carts if you poke around enough. Pets will love the moderate challenge, and there are few more pleasant hikes so close to the city.

5. Heather Lake Trail

Heather Lake Trail, Washington 98252

A pristine, picturesque lake that’s also conveniently close to the city, Heather Lake can be a challenge for the uninitiated. But if you can make your way through the 4.2 miles and more-than-1100-foot elevation, the reward is well worth the trip. Dip your toes, or paws, into the blue waters after you make your way past a steep uphill climb that’s mostly gravel and tree roots. It’s a bit of a rough and rugged hike, but probably more challenging for humans than our canine counterparts.

6. Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Ledge, Washington 98045

This is one of the Seattle area’s favorite daytime hikes, as evidenced by the scores of hikers of all shapes, sizes, and age groups on the trail. The switchbacks are moderately challenging, yet short enough that doggies of pretty much any size can make it up with little issues. The trail is well-maintained and shadowed by tree foliage, so you’ll have little worries about keeping your pups cool even in the warmer months.

7. Lake Twenty-Two Trail

Mountain Loop Hwy, Granite Falls, WA 98252

One of the prettier hikes on the list, Lake Twenty-Two is perched above an old growth forest adjacent to Mount Pilchuck. It’s fairly difficult, but nothing too crazy.

You make your way through a lush rainforest with towering cedars as you travel over stone pathways, wood bridges, and chilly creek crossings. Once you reach the top, you’ll find a tranquil, serene lake where you and your dog can be one with nature.

Mountain Loop Hwy
Granite Falls, WA 98252

8. Mount Si Trail

Mount Si Trail, Washington 98045

Mount Si is not for the faint-hearted; 7.1 miles and 3,200-foot elevation is nothing to sneeze at. It’s difficult, but a mostly shaded forest should keep you and your pal cool on a hot summer day. If you decide to brave it, bring lots of water and a highly active dog that could use the extra energy burn. The top is mostly rocks and boulders—so make sure both you and your buddy are sure-footed—with a fantastic view.

9. Twin Falls

SE 159th St, North Bend, WA 98045

Twin Falls is a breezy, family-friendly hike if you’re looking for something chill and nothing super strenuous. A short drive takes you just past North Bend, and the 3.6-mile hike is a pleasant stroll past rivers, switchbacks, and cascading waterfalls. The icy streams offer a nice way for your pup to cool off on a warm day.

SE 159th St
North Bend, WA 98045

10. Franklin Falls Trailhead

Denny Creek Trail, North Bend, WA 98045

A brief but rewarding hike with little elevation, Franklin Falls is a nice, quick destination situated right off of I-90 in the Snoqualmie area. The trail is fairly easy, so your dog likely won’t have any issues with it, particularly in the summertime. But for a more Instagram-worthy shot, go during the winter when the falls freeze over, making some of the largest icicles you’ll ever see. Just use extra caution, as it can get pretty dicey on the way down, even for four-legged hikers.

Denny Creek Trail
North Bend, WA 98045