Is Fido sleeping even more than usual? Does he turn down playdates in favor of an extra nap? If so, he could be suffering from S-A-D-D (Seasonal Affective Dog Disorder). There’s only one guaranteed way to combat his winter woes, and that’s by staying active! Dress your pup up in his essential winter gear and stride out together, whatever the weather.
Posted by Billy Francis
1. Jud Wiebe Memorial Trail
Weekend warriors who aren’t put off by a drop in temperature will love this pet-friendly hike in Telluride. Named after the man who began blazing the trail but wasn’t around to see it finished, Jud Wiebe Memorial Trail is a short but steep loop that starts and ends in town. Wildflowers and wildlife are highlights in spring, but stunning snow-capped mountaintops make it just as beautiful in winter. The trail is rated as moderate and can be completed in a couple of hours.
Back in town, Fido can rest his weary legs at The Hotel Telluride. Canine guests receive five-star treatment, which includes treats, bowls and a bed upon arrival.
2. Horseshoe Bend Trail
Horseshoe Bend is just as much for Instagrammers as it is for hikers. Etched into Navajo Sandstone in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the natural phenomenon was created by the Colorado River’s search for the path of least resistance. What remains is a stunning U-turn in the river’s path and a one-stop photo op, with a sprinkling of snow as the icing on top. The trail is rated as easy, costs $10 per vehicle to enter, and can be completed in under 45 minutes.
After your photoshoot, relax at the ever “pupular” La Quinta Inn & Suites Page at Lake Powell.
3. Black Mountain via Silver Mine Lake Loop
Harriman State Park is just an hour from NYC. It’s full of pet-friendly outdoor gems to explore with your dog, and Black Mountain via Silver Mine Lake Loop is one of the highlights. The 4-mile loop requires a bit of scrambling at first, but is worth it when you get to the icy lake in the center. The trail is rated as moderate and can be completed in a few hours, depending on stops along the way.
Post up with your pup at this pet-friendly pallet cottage on the edge of Harriman State Park.
4. Witch Hole Pond Loop
It should come as no surprise that a trail in Acadia National Park has made it onto our list. The “pawsome” park is one of the most pet-friendly in the country and is always worth a visit. Witch Hole Pond Loop is one of Acadia's famed carriage roads that’s perfect for a winter excursion. When snow can be found all around, slip on Fido’s shoes and crunch along next to the icy pond. This 5-mile loop is rated as easy and can be completed in a couple of hours.
Hike all day and then enjoy a stay at this gorgeous Acadia Woods cabin.
5. Mount Mitchell Trail
Hike up the highest peak east of the Mississippi River on Mount Mitchell Trail at Mount Mitchell State Park. Only true adventurers will take on this 12-mile out-and-back trek during winter, when snow and ice make it even more challenging than usual. The payback for braving the cold is relative solitude and incredible views of a winter wonderland of vistas full of frosted peaks for 80 miles into the clear blue distance. The trail is rated difficult and will take all day to complete.
Remain in nature at this Roaring Fork Chalet with views of Mount Mitchell from the balcony.
6. Black Elk Peak
If you’re passing through South Dakota and stopping off at Crazy Horse Memorial, be sure to visit nearby Black Elk Peak. At just over 6 miles, the trail is no walk in the park and can get icy in winter, but the stone fire tower that blends into the rock provides unbelievable views from the top and makes the journey worthwhile. Black Elk Peak is rated as moderate and can be completed in a few hours.
Surrounded by towering pines, this Keystone Escape has a Mt. Rushmore view to enjoy after your hike.
7. Palo Duro Canyon
The Lighthouse Trail is the jewel in Palo Duro Canyon’s crown. This out-and-back jaunt is just under 6 miles through the second-largest canyon in the country. The payoff is a stunning view of the park’s most famous natural landmark, the Lighthouse. The less crowded winter months and snowy canyon views make a visit at this time more appealing than any other time of year. The trail is rated as moderate and takes about four hours to complete. Don’t forget your poles as it might get slippy.
Doves Rest Fortress Cabin lies on the east rim of Palo Duro and offers astounding vistas of the natural phenomenon from the covered porch.
8. Brandywine Gorge Trail
Located at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Brandywine Gorge Trail offers you and Fido the chance to see a majestical frozen waterfall. The tallest waterfall in the park looks even more spectacular with icicles dangling and cloud-like water frozen in the air. In fact, the only minus about this hike will be the temperature. The trail is moderate and only takes around an hour to complete.
Your nature-loving pup will be happy to return to this cozy cottage after exploring the outdoors of Ohio.
9. Grandeur Peak East Trail
Spike shoes are recommended for humans who hike Grandeur Peak East Trail during winter, as snow is a common sight on the trail. Join the crowds of outbound hounds on this trek that delivers awe-inspiring views of one of the mountains that makes up the Wasatch front skyline. When you reach the summit, you’ll be treated to views of Salt Lake City in the valley below. Fido can even join you off-leash on odd days. This epic out-and-back trail is just under 6 miles long and rated difficult.
After a day of play outside, head inside and play arcade games until the early hours at this colorful home near the trailhead.
10. Lower Big Quilcene Trail
Located in Washington's Olympic National Forest, The Lower Big Quilcene Trail is a pretty lowland forested path that follows the Big Quilcene River for roughly 6.5 miles. The large, old-growth cedars provide some welcome shelter in case of precipitation during the winter months, and the trail is rated easy.
Rest and recharge at the nearby La Quinta Inn & Suites Tumwater Olympia, where you can enjoy a complimentary breakfast to fuel your next hike.