The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Washington

Thunder Knob Trail
Ross Lake National Recreation Area • Diablo

Despite its imposing name, Thunder Knob is one of the smallest and easiest peaks to conquer in the rugged North Cascades, a land of busy glaciers. Thunder Knob is also one of the rare summits Seaman is permitted to tag in the North Cascades.

The Thunder Knob Trail kicks off with a heavy plank bridge across the energetic waters of Colonial Creek (taken down in the winter for protection) and then deposits Seaman on one of the best groomed trails he will ever hike on in a national forest. Wide and level with nary a root in sight, this footpath is so pleasant your dog will scarcely notice the nearly 500 feet in elevation gain on this 1.8-mile out-and-back hike.

What demands notice is how impossibly green this stretch of hemlock forest is. The spellbinding greenery continues into the higher and drier elevations of lodgepole pine. As the forest opens up Thunder Knob begins to yield views of the ragged granite peaks all around you.

The Thunder Knob Trail is a four-star canine hike even without its payout at the end - your purchase of the spectacular view of Diablo Lake. The deep turquoise colors are the result of fine glacial silt washed into the water. But this is no souvenir of a distant ice age; Diablo Lake is a reservoir created after the construction of a hydroelectric dam in 1930. Stay as long as you want atop Thunder Knob - there is a log bench on the overlook to sit with Seaman.

HIKING TIME: 1-2 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Ebey's Landing National Historic Reserve
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Mount Rainer National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the trails or in buildings

North Cascades National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the trails or in buildings

Olympic National Park
Dogs are allowed on the Kalaloch beaches and on the Shady Lane Trail at Staircase

Ross Lake National Recreation Area
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

San Juan Island National Historic Park
Dogs are allowed on leash and on on South Beach can run free if not crowded

State Parks With Hiking

Washington State Parks

Alta Lake State Park
Anderson Lake State Park 
Battle Ground Lake State Park 
Blake Island State Park 
Bogachiel State Park 
Brooks Memorial State Park 
Camano Island State Park 
Centennial Trail State Park 
Chief Timothy State Park 
Crow Butte State Park
Curlew Lake State Park 
Dash Point State Park
Deception Pass State Park
Dosewallips State Park 
Federation Forest State Park 
Fields Spring State Park 
Flaming Geyser State Park 
Fort Canby State Park
Fort Casey State Park
Fort Columbia State Park 
Fort Ebey State Park 
Fort Flagler State Park
Fort Ward State Park 
Fort Worden State Park 
Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park 
Hope Island (Mason) State Park 
Horsethief Lake State Park 
Ike Kinswa State Park 
Iron Horse Trail State Park 
Jarrell Cove State Park 
Joseph Whidbey State Park 
Kanaskat-Palmer State Park 
Kitsap Memorial State Park 
Kopachuck State Park 
Lake Easton State Park 
Lake Sammamish State Park 
Lake Wenatchee State Park 
Larrabee State Park 
Lewis & Clark State Park 
Lewis & Clark Trail State Park
Lincoln Rock State Park 
Manchester State Park 
Maryhill State Park 
Millersylvania State Park 
Moran State Park 
Mount Spokane State Park
Nolte State Park 
Olallie State Park 
Old Fort Townsend State Park
Olmstead Place State Park 
Paradise Point State Park
Penrose Point State Park 
Peshastin Pinnacles State Park 
Potholes State Park 
Potlatch State Park 
Rainbow Falls State Park 
Rasar State Park 
Riverside State Park 
Rockport State Park 
Sacajawea State Park 
Schafer State Park 
Seaquest State Park
Sequim Bay State Park 
South Whidbey State Park 
Spencer Spit State Park 
Squilchuck State Park 
Steamboat Rock State Park 
Sun Lakes State Park 
Tolmie State Park 
Twanoh State Park 
Wallace Falls State Park


Hiking With Your Dog In Washington