Pet-Friendly Trails In and Around Mt. Rainier

Sure, we’ve all been there before: you’re all set to go on a family vacation with your pet(s) only to find out that there are little to no pet-friendly activities to do in the area.

What a letdown.

Knowing that you love pets as much as we do, we find it critical to keep you privy to pet-friendly trails around Mt. Rainier. Let’s take a look at three pet-friendly hiking options in Ashford that will be sure to keep you and your dogs happy.

The trails in the Alder Lake area

Alder Lake Park and Rocky Point are owned and operated by Tacoma Power’s Nisqually River Project.  They offer options for everyone from traditional tent campers to those who want more of the comforts of home like water, electric and sewer hookups. Campers can choose between 173 sites in the three campgrounds within the Park: Main, Osprey and Elk Plain.  The Park’s Rocky Point campground is located a few miles down the road (4 miles east of the main park entrance on Highway 7); a more solitary campground with 25 sites offering water and electric hookups. Camping is open year-round, except for an annual closure between Dec. 20th – Jan. 1st.

Little Mashel Falls

While Pack Forest is always a good four-season destination, in spring it is especially beautiful. Spring is a popular time to hike here when hidden frog choirs sing to the heavens, birds dart and twitter, flowers bloom and waterfalls roar. You can almost taste spring on your tongue.

Pack Forest is named for Charles Lathrop Pack, a lumberman from the east coast who gifted the University of Washington’s College of Forest Resources with the means for the university to purchase forestland in the 1920s. Today the 4,300-acre forest provides an outdoor classroom for forest management students.

Millpond and Smallwood Parks

A short kid-friendly hike right in Eatonville. Explore two small parks rife in history and nature along the banks of the salmon-rearing Mashel River.

Before starting your walk at Millpond Park, check out the little log cabin to the west of the pathway. This structure was the first home in Eatonville, built by town founder Thomas Cobb Van Eaton who arrived from Minnesota in 1889. Van Eaton lived in the back of the home with his wife and three children, while the front of the structure was used as a trading post, stage stop, and post office. This is not the original location of the cabin, however. It was moved here in 1996 where it was restored and continues to be run as the Stage Stop Museum by the Eatonville Historical Society. It’s open for visitors from 1-4 on Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Feel free however to walk around it anytime.

So, next time you’re looking for an activity-filled vacation with your pet(s), consider the Mt. Rainier area and its pet-friendly trails.

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