One of our most common places for elopements is one of the three National Parks in Washington: Mt. Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic. However, there are a lot of restrictions for dogs in National Parks.
Mt. Rainier National Park has very strict rules about pets. Pets are not allowed on any trails (except for the Pacific Crest Trail, which is along the east side of the park), in any off-trail areas, inside park buildings, in amphitheaters, on roads closed during the winter, or on snow. It might seem silly, but this is super important for various reasons. Your pet’s urine and fecal matter can impact wildlife. Plus, there are a lot of dangers in Mt. Rainier that pose a risk to your furry friend!
It’s important to keep your pet on a leash that is no more than 6 feet long (1.8 meters) at all times. Even though pets are not allowed on trails, you can have them in the parking lot. However, we don’t recommend bringing your pet to the park just to leave them in the car or in a crate while you hike. It’s much better to either plan hikes outside of the park that allow pets, or leave your dog at home.
Right before Paradise, there is a paved trail called the Longmire Historic District Walking Tour that allows pets!
While pets aren’t allowed on trails inside the park, there are so many amazing trails with views of Rainier outside the park that allow pets! Some of those hikes include the Noble Knob Trail, SunTop Lookout, Goat Lake Trail, and High Rock Lookout. In the summertime, you are also allowed to take your pet on the walking trails within the Crystal Mountain trail system. Dogs are actually allowed inside the Mt. Rainier Gondola as well!
Just like Mt. Rainier, the North Cascades is pretty strict with their rules about where your doggo can go. The only place that dogs are allowed is on the Pacific Crest Trail and within 50 feet of paved roads. Of course, just like Rainier, it’s important to keep your pup on a leash at all times.
In the North Cascades, your dog is allowed within the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas! These are both awesome places to take your pet, while making sure that you’re abiding by the rules of BARK. Both Ross Lake and Lake Chelan are beautiful lakes that offer opportunities for hiking, camping, swimming, and water sports!
Out of the three National Parks in Washington, Olympic National Park offers the most accessibility for you and your furry best friend! Olympic is also the most diverse National Park in Washington with the Pacific Coast on the furthest western edge, the stunning mountains of the Olympic range, and the temperate rainforest of the Hoh Rain Forest.
Some of the best places to take your pup are the Peabody Creek Trail, any of the beaches between the Hoh and Quinault Reservations, Madison Falls Trail, Spruce Railroad Trail, and the July Creek Loop Trail.
While the best places to take your pup might not be one of the three National Parks in Washington, there are a lot of other areas that you can explore with your dog. For example, we recommend checking out state parks, BLM land, or some of the National Forests in Washington.
The Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is located on the west side of the Cascade mountain range between the Canadian border and Mt. Rainier National Park. This is one of the most common National Forests for elopements because it has some incredible trails and lookouts such as the Heybrook Lookout Trail, Lake Ann, and the Kelly Butte Trail.
Even though this couple didn’t have a furry friend with them, this trail is part of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and it is pet-friendly: Mount Baker National Forest Sunrise Elopement
This National Forest is in the northeastern-most part of Washington state. A lot of our elopements and resource blogs are centered around the western part of Washington, but the eastern section of this incredible state is equally as remarkable. Colville National Forest has hundreds of miles of hiking trails, along with tons of rivers, lakes, and campgrounds. It borders Canada and Idaho. One of the most popular hiking trails with great mountain views is Abercrombie Mountain. This area of Washington is a lot less popular than the westernmost parts, but it’s definitely worth your time!
Gifford Pinchot National Forest covers a lot of land and is full of lush old growth forests, glaciers, meadows full of wildflowers, and volcanic peaks. We often drive through this National Forest when heading to Mt. Rainier.
Surprisingly enough, this is actually one of the oldest National Forests in the entire United States. And with over 1.3 million acres of land, there are so many incredible forest service roads, hikes, and campgrounds to explore! Some awesome dog-friendly spots include: Bunker Hill Trail, Lower Falls Recreation Area Campground, and East Fork Trail.
With about 4 million acres of land in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, there are hundreds of miles of hiking trails, tons of places to camp, and lots of opportunities for camping in the backcountry. The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is on the eastern side of the Cascades, and puppers are allowed on almost ALL trails here!
There are certain locations in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness where dogs aren’t allowed, such as The Enchantments, Snow Lakes, and Colchuck Lake for example. In all other areas, pups are allowed on leashes and under control! Please make sure to keep them away from wildlife and check their paw pads! There are quite a few hikes that have rocky areas.
You can also fish, climb, off-road, skii, and snowmobile! And a lot of these activities can include your furry friend, too.
The Olympic National Forest is located on the peninsula and has almost 300 miles of trails. There are about 20 campgrounds in the National Forest. Leashed pets are allowed on all the trails in the Olympic National Forest!
Here’s an awesome map of the Olympic Peninsula with all of the dog-friendly locations!
If you do your research online, there are actually a ton of dog-friendly hiking trails in Washington state! And there are a ton of awesome locations that your furry friend will LOVE exploring with you! Below are some great trails for you and your four-legged bestie.
These are just A FEW of the amazing campgrounds in Washington that allow pups! If you’re looking to take your dog on a camping trip, check out this link to find even more campgrounds.
There are 7 Leave No Trace principles. They are: (1) Plan ahead and prepare, (2) Travel and camp on durable surfaces, (3) Dispose of waste properly, (4) Leave what you find, (5) Minimize campfire impacts, (6) Respect wildlife, and (7) Be considerate of other visitors.
But there is another great acronym for making sure that you Leave No Trace when out in nature with your pup! BARK stands for…
As always, make sure that you use your best judgment when taking your pup outdoors! Leave everything the way it was when you found it, and take care of your pet.
There are so many incredible ways to include your dog in your elopement! One of the most obvious ways is to have them present for your day. You can include them in your getting ready moments at your Airbnb, or have them be a ring bearer or flower pup for your ceremony! They could also be your Best Pup or Pup of Honor!
While I know that most of us would want our furry best friend to be there on our special day, it isn’t always possible. But fear not! There are ways to include your pup if they aren’t able to be present on your special day. You can include your doggo in your vows or bring an image of them to include in your portraits like this couple did!
You can also add your pupper into your details with a custom cake topper or on your elopement invitations! And if you aren’t able to do that, maybe you can Facetime a family member or friend during your elopement and have them put your dog on the phone!
Pet-Friendly Riverfront Cabin in Index
Walls of Glass Hood Canal Vacation Rental
Romantic Getaway Near Snoqualmie Pass
Dog-Friendly Wood Cabin on Orcas Island
Modern Tudor Style Home near Lake Cushman
Lake House Near Lake Wenatchee
Dog-Friendly Cabin w/ Hot Tub Near Mount Rainier National Park
Heartwood Cabin By Mount Rainier National Park
Earthlight Villa By Columbia River
As you can see, there are a ton of beautiful places to stay in Washington that will allow your furry best friend.
Hey there! We’re Hannah and Adam, your dog-friendly photo + video team. We photograph and film adventure weddings and elopements all over the world, but we’re based in the PNW. Our goal is to not only document your day in the most authentic way, but to be able to help you include your furry best friend!
Speaking of furry best friends, meet Juneau, our German Shepherd. She was originally found on the side of the road, and we picked her up the day after she was found. The second we held her, we knew she was ours. Since then, her personality has really begun to shine through! She loves being outside, sniffing pine trees, dipping her paws in rivers, chewing/eating everything (especially sticks), and playing in the snow.
She’s been helping us find the best pet-friendly trails for your big day!