What every adventurer needs to know about dogs in national parks
The early May day is a scorcher at Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah. Eighty-six degrees at 5pm.
Hikers straggle off the Devil’s Garden trail, a long, sun-drenched loop crossing slick rock fins and ledges. At the trailhead, a young couple fills a water bowl for two white Labs dozing under the drinking fountain.
This family will not be exploring the seven-mile trail. In fact, they’ll go no farther than the adjacent campground. Canine movement is highly restricted in U.S. National Parks, which begs consideration when planning a road trip with Rover.
Destination: Central Oregon
It’s the time of year when many start planning vacations and little getaways. When looking for a great place to truly unwind, pamper yourself, or to seek high adventure, one of the most popular choices is Central Oregon, home to a handful of worthy destinations including Bend, Sunriver, La Pine, Prineville and Sisters.
These mountain retreats beckon rock climbers, river rafters and hikers, as well as golfers, spa dwellers and the art-and-wine set. And whichever category a vacationer may fit, one belief held dear by many is that no vacation is complete without their numero-uno traveling companion, the dog. Fortunately, this area is geared to pets, so many accommodations and recreational opportunities are, too.
Hiking with Dogs is Great Fun, but be Prepared
Like any self-respecting Labrador Retriever, one-year-old Bear is happiest playing fetch in a natural body of water. Lucky for Bear, his partner in crime, Gary Harr, is also at his best on a river or lake.
Harr, who leads dog-friendly hikes for the social networking group Meetin Portland (MIPL), frequently takes Bear for five-mile jaunts in the Columbia River Gorge, and on the Clackamas, Sandy and Willamette Rivers. Last spring he led MIPL hikes at Triple Falls in the Gorge and at Oaks Bottom/Sellwood Park. His weekend haunts also include the Sandy River Delta (exit 18 off I-84), where Bear can roam off leash and splash in the river, always in sight.