Columbia River Gorge - Photo Credit: Melissa Delzio (CC)
Oregon is a big and diverse state, but perhaps its biggest assets for DogTrekkers are the thousands of square miles of public lands where you and yours can enjoy nature unleashed. Pet-friendly yurts and cabins in 22 of Oregon’s 361 state parks take the “ruff” out of roughing it, but be sure to reserve well in advance.
The state also boasts one national park (Crater Lake, alas, not very dog-friendly) a national monument (John Day Fossil Beds, dogs welcome on trails), 11 national forests, 21 national wildlife refuges plus scenic areas (Columbia River Gorge being the best known), national trails and wide-open spaces like the Crooked River National Grassland, where you can hike all day with a trio of snow-capped volcanic peaks in the background. OregonHikers.org is an online community forum and go-to reference for hikes throughout the state.
If camping isn’t your thing, consider staying someplace semi-rustic that will still put you out in nature. Silver Falls Cabins & Conference center east of Salem, the state capital, is a great choice, offering a limited number of dog-friendly cabins and lodge rooms plus a pet exercise area, a dining hall and quick access to backcountry trails where leashed dogs can hike.
Photo Credit: Melissa Delzio (CC)