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Seeing the Olympic Peninsula With Dogs

Washington State’s northwest corner is surrounded by water on three sides, and nearly one million acres of its forests, coasts, and islands are federally protected. It’s an amazing place to visit with your dog.

It’s a study in opposites. The silence of the moss-covered woodlands contrasts sharply with the roaring wind and surf of the beaches. Each has their own beauty, and words do nothing to enhance it.

Kalaloch Beach - Olympic, WA

Pet Friendly Kalaloch Beach

Kalaloch Lodge Cabins - Olympic, WA

Pet Friendly Cabins at Kalaloch Lodge

Ruby Beach - Olympic, WA

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach - Olympic, WA

Driftwood on Fog-Enveloped Ruby Beach

Big Cedar Tree - Olympic, WA

Rod in the Big Cedar Tree

Bald Eagle Along the Coast - Olympic, WA

Wildlife Sighting! There’s a Bald Eagle in the tree.

Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic, WA

Hoh Rain Forest

Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic, WA

Hoh Rain Forest

Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic, WA

Hoh Rain Forest

Though much of the peninsula is pet friendly, the trails in the Hoh Rain Forest do not allow dogs. That is not unexpected – we see it a lot in the  national parks. Though we’ve never seen a statement like this, which was posted on a sign at the visitor’s center: “Dogs are natural enemies to all creatures of the forest. For the protection of your pet, as well as yourself and other hikers, pets are not allowed on the trails.” That seems a little harsh.

Bordering Olympic National Park is Olympic National Forest – where leashed pets are welcome on the trails. If you’re traveling with your dog, head over there for some amazing hiking.

Slug in Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic, WA

Dangerous Woodland Creature

Hoh River - Olympic, WA

The Hoh River

Rialto Beach - Olympic, WA

Islands Off Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach - Olympic, WA

Pet Friendly Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach - Olympic, WA

“Come on, reach for the stick!”

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
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Comment Archive

P. Dog Oct 24, 2011 at 11:20 pm
There are many other incredible hikes you can take with your dogs, some well traveled, others less known in the area.  Pls. ck. out Silver Lakes in mid-July or August and Tubal Cain trail  for incredible wildflowers! We look forward to more of your posts and hope you visit again soon!  http//dogwalksandhikesnw.blogspot.com 
Amy@GoPetFriendly Sep 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Too funny, Kristine! We'll keep an eye out for them. LOL!
Amy@GoPetFriendly Sep 20, 2011 at 11:59 am
Thanks so much! We love all of our virtual travel buddies. :-D
Amy@GoPetFriendly Sep 20, 2011 at 11:59 am
We've felt the same way, Mel ... the beaches just keep getting better and better! The cool thing is that they're so different. Cannon Beach was beautiful and walking distance from the adorable downtown. These beaches are wild - secluded, uncrowded, and wind torn. No matter which you prefer, there's definitely something for everyone here! Of course, Buster loves them all. Ty, on the other hand, preferred Ruby over Rialto. Ruby had more sand - Rialto is almost all pebbles and Ty didn't like walking on them. Yep, you've gotta come see it in person. The camera just can't do it justice - there are so many shades of green, from the icy color of the Hoh River to the nearly black of the forests. It's spectacular.
Amy@GoPetFriendly Sep 20, 2011 at 11:52 am
We really did have a good time, Vicki. I can see why it provided such great childhood memories for you. Seeing it as a kid would give it kind of a "magical" feeling - right out of a fairy tale.
Amy@GoPetFriendly Sep 20, 2011 at 11:51 am
Well then, I've still got a couple more posts in the hopper that you're going to enjoy, Karen!
Amy@GoPetFriendly Sep 20, 2011 at 11:50 am
Yes, and there is no shortage of mist. :-)
Kim Clune Sep 20, 2011 at 10:57 am
Love the moodiness of the mist!!
Sep 20, 2011 at 10:12 am
Hi Y'all! Wow dog heaven! Y'all come by now, Hawk aka BrownDog
Karen Friesecke Sep 20, 2011 at 2:17 am
The Pacific Northwest is on the to-do list. . The beaches and the Hoh forest look so appealing, I'd love to spend a few days there.
Vicki Stringfellow Cook Sep 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm
I lived in Washington state for a year when I was in elementary school (my father was in the service) and going to Olympic National Park is one of my favorite memories! It was nice to see it again - and it looks like you had a great time too!
Melspetpals Sep 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm
Holy cow guys! Just when I thought I had seen the most beautiful beach ever, you post a picture of another one even more beautiful. It makes me jealous of my clients and their dog Ozy, who just moved out that way. Wow! I can't even decide which one I like best. Ruby beach looks like doggie heaven. How did Buster and Ty like it?  I have to say one of the things I love about that state is the most unreal color of gren you see everywhere. It's stunning. This may have to be a vacation spot in my future. Gonna share with my clients!
Greyhounds CAN Sit Sep 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm
Such stunning photos!  It's so interesting and enjoyable vicariously travelling around with doggie people:)
Kristine Sep 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm
My parents happen to be in that exact part of the world right now with their little JRT! I hope they are having as good a time as you are. Those photos are just breath-taking. You've had some million dollar views.
Amy@GoPetFriendly Sep 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm
And an easy trip for you and Martin - just hop on the ferry!
Cate Sep 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm
Wow would love to take a trip there - looks beautiful!
Amy@GoPetFriendly Sep 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm
How exciting Julie ... welcome to the dark side! :-D Yep, seeing it all in a small RV has worked out great for us. And Olympic was really gorgeous - definitely put it on the list of places to go.
Julie Melfi Sep 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm
Wow - it looks gorgeous! My hubby and I went and looked at small RV's this weekend and I thought of you guys . . someday we hope to take an adventure like yours!! 
Amy@GoPetFriendly Sep 19, 2011 at 11:48 am
Thanks for the info, Jess! Lake Crescent would be a great place to take the dogs for a walk - I'm glad they made the trail pet friendly!
Adventurejess Sep 19, 2011 at 10:17 am
This is where we are from. I worked for Olympic National Park for 8 years. The Spruce Railroad Trail around Lake Crescent is now open to dogs (it has recently been adopted into the rails to trails network - Olympic Discovery Trail)...although not widely publicized yet. Glad you had a good trip.