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Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, WA

A summer and winter paradise for outdoor fun.

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    A summer and winter paradise for outdoor fun.

    Special Interest: BikingCampingGreat OutdoorsHikingOutdoor PlayRunningSports - Winter

    The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest covers about 4 million acres of the eastern slope of the Cascade Range. The national forest is managed by 7 different ranger districts: Chelan Ranger District, Cle Elum Ranger District, Entiat Ranger District, Methow Valley Ranger District, Naches Ranger District, Tonasket Ranger District, and Wenatchee River Ranger District.

    Check conditions before you head out. In general, the USDA requires dogs to be on a 6 ft leash in designated wilderness areas and in developed recreation areas. Dogs are not allowed in public swimming areas. We advise asking a ranger for the specific area that you are hiking if you have any doubts. You will need a pass to use the park.

    There are so many trails within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Dogs are not allowed at the Enchantments, Snow Lakes, Colchuck Lake, Stuart Lake, Eightmile Lake and Ingall’s Lake. According to the USDA, dogs may be off leash but under control at al times on trail, but must be leashed in wilderness areas.

    A few great dog-friendly trails include: Driveway Butte, Icicle Gorge Trail (dogs leashed), Icicle Ridge Trail, Rachel Lake Trail, Lake Ann/Maple Pass Loop Trail for a more challenging hike, and Gold Creek Trail for an easy hike.

    In the summer, the Echo Nordic Ski Area is open for hiking and biking. Trails will be wide in this area. Maps are available for summer hiking.

    With over 150 campgrounds in the national forest, the options for camping are endless. Most sites are on a first come, first serve basis. Larger group sites may be reserved in advance. There is a 14 day stay limit. Dogs must be leashed at campsites.

    Biking is allowed on many trails. Popular mountain biking areas include Devils Gulch, lower Chiwawa Valley areas (Wenatchee River Ranger District), Mad Lake and Lake Creek (Entiat Ranger District), Devils Backbone, and Echo Ridge areas (Chelan Ranger District. More information on winter biking and fat tire biking can be found here.

    For those that love winter sports, Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area (Chelan Ranger District) offers 25 miles of groomed trails and great scenic views of the Enchantments, Pyramid Peak, and Okanogan Highlands. Dogs are allowed on these trails: The Tootsy Roll, Whoop-Di-Do, Lolly Pop, Zoom, and Outback ski trails. All snowshoe trails are also open to dogs. A map of winter trails is available with a nice indicator for which trails are dog friendly (we love that!).


    Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

    Location: Wenatchee, WA | Chelan, WA | Cle Elum, WA | Entiat, WA | Winthrop, WA | Naches, WA | Tonasket, WA | Leavenworth, WA | Chelan County | Kittitas County | Okanogan County | Yakima County | Cascade Mountains | Washington
    Activities: Hiking, Walking, Camping, Biking, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Winter – Sports, Sightseeing

    Items Needed: Water, Poop Bags or Shovel, First Aid Kit, Tick Removal Tool, 6 Foot Non-Retractable Leash or Hands-Free Leash, Paw Protection, Reflective Gear On Your Dog, Insect Repellent, Other Appropriate Gear & Food

    Safety: Please note that certain areas in the Naches Ranger District allow hunting so make sure you and your dog are visible in those areas. Pay attention to signs and notices that may permit you to have your dog leashed in a certain areas.

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