When the rainy season starts, many people put their hiking boots away for the season. Not us! This is when the hiking season begins for us. We actually do most of our hiking in the winter.
Here in the Northwest we are blessed with mild temperatures even in the winter. And with the range of Gortex products available, we really don’t get wet. Even our dogs wear raincoats. Yes, they still get wet – but their core is dry which keeps them warm without overheating.
Pictured here is our dog Turk. When we come down the trail – the two of us in our yellow rain coats – fellow hikers usually can not resist a big smile or even a laugh. Ms. Turk wears her coat with a lot of swagger.
Why we love hiking in the winter:
- The trails are less crowded with people and other dogs.
- Cooler temperatures make it easier for our pups to tolerate.
- Brilliant colors in the fall.
- More vistas in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees.
- The waterfalls are much more amazing to see.
- Gortex! Head to toe…
Where we Hike
We have hiked all of the trails listed on our site’s Hikes page. These hikes all allow dogs. However it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with each hike in order to gauge if it is appropriate for you and your pups. For instance, Angel’s Rest has a lot of rocks that you must maneuver towards the top – which would be absolutely impossible for our 16yr old Husky to navigate with her weakened back leg muscles. Eagle Creek has some portions of trail that you would want to consider using booties for your pup. Also the trail is so narrow in places that it is only advisable to hike with your dog if you are comfortable with dog-to-dog encounters because with the narrow trails they can not be avoided. So consider hiking these trails once without your dog(s) to decide if it is an appropriate choice for you.
Many dogs have been injured or killed while hiking in the Columbia River Gorge because they were not on a leash. One misstep by a tired or frightened dog can lead to tragic results. Read [ HERE ] about the rescue of Casey by the OHSTAR team.
Many people think “my dog is well behaved” so feel that they do not need to leash their dog. However a single squirrel can be quite a distraction. Or another dog on the trail that is not as well behaved as yours can result in unexpected situations. There are so many ways for things to go wrong, that leashing your pets is as much for it’s own benefit as for the safety of others on the trail.
Please see our our Hikes page for additional considerations such as Safety, where to check the Conditions and more Tips.