Once a year I go on a backpacking trip with a friend of mine who lives near Sacramento, California. He likes to bring his dog. The trip lengths typically range from 2-5 days (including car travel), depending on what other aspects of our lives allow.

We've done the Desolation Wilderness a few times and the Lost Coast trail once, and we're considering doing the Rogue River trail this September.

Googling around is a little frustrating because I mostly see regional "dog hikes" or "backpacking" lists, not dog + backpacking + region lists.

I'm not sure if this is an acceptable question for this site, but I'm looking for suggested trails, or for broader tips on how to find trails that match my criteria. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


In general, you will have an easier time finding places to backpack with dogs in Oregon than California. Most parks in Oregon allow dogs unless specifically stating otherwise. As such, I am not going to make specific recommendations as 1) most general backpacking recommendations will also be available to your dog and 2) I have less experience finding trails in that region.

In California you cannot bring dogs backpacking in any state park and many county and regional ones prohibit it as well. However most lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management that allow backpacking also allow dogs (this does not include the National Parks run by NPS). This means most National Wildernesses, National Forests, and National Beaches will be available to you (though do check the websites for each location).

More specifically in your area, I have taken my dogs to Ansel Adams Wilderness, Inyo National Forest, Silver Peak Wilderness, and Ventana Wilderness and had a great time (though Ventana is very "rustic" even for a backpacking region). I have also investigated taking my dogs to Stanislaus National Forest and Trinity National Forest which both allow dogs. This summer I also plan to do the Tahoe Rim Trail with one of my dogs which goes through Desolation Wilderness as well as a number of other regions and allows dogs on the whole loop.

  • Wanted to clarify that BLM land does not include national parks. BLM and NPS are separate federal agencies. You can read more about public lands on REI's well written article if interested.
    – noah
    Aug 2, 2019 at 23:17
  • @noah My apologies. I was mistaken as most of the search tools I use lump the two together and you can find NPS resources on the BLM website. I will correct my answer.
    – Barker
    Aug 2, 2019 at 23:20
  • No worries. Just wanted to clarify since the two generally (I don't know much about their rules for dogs) have very different rules about what is/isn't allowed.
    – noah
    Aug 2, 2019 at 23:45

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