Ultimate Guide To Dog Mountain Trail in Washington For 2021

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The Dog Mountain Trail is located nearby Carson. The trail is approximately ten kilometers long loop with lots of traffic. The dog trail is famous for the spectacular view of lovely wildflowers. Due to this reason, every professional hiker recommends dog mountain trail hiking.

The Dog Mountain Trail is an easy and small hike that starts from Mount Seymour. On a sunny day, the dog mountain trail offers a magnificent view of Vancouver. The track is at a minimum elevation. 

The dog mountain trail completes in about five kilometers. The track is short. At that point, it is significant to know that the trail is somewhat technical. It requires meticulous steps because various parts of this short trail, are topped with slippery roots of the nearby trees. Hence, some of the new hikers may find the dog mountain trail a bit difficult. 

The Dog Mountain Trail is located nearby Carson. The trail is approximately ten kilometers long loop with lots of traffic. The dog trail is famous for the spectacular view of lovely wildflowers. Due to this reason, every professional hiker recommends dog mountain trail hiking.

To see a further breakdown of the Dog Mountain Trail, please visit the official page for the Washington Trails Association. Link to the relevant page on wta.org for the hike.

The Dog Mountain Trail History

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The Dog Mountain Trail is located in Colombia Gorge on the Washington side. The dog mountain hike is notably famous in the spring season. Because in the spring season, the scene around the trail pops up with gorgeous wildflowers. The popular opinion about the trail name is that it got its name Dog Mountain trail as most of the hikers hike the track with their canines.

Another famous story about the dog mountain trail is that in ancient times, immigrants got ambushed on the mountain, and they run out of food. At that time, due to extreme famine and deficiency of food items, they ate their dogs. This rumor is terrifying indeed, but it is just folklore. So, do not get bothered by fictitious stories and fasten your hiking backpack to get an amazing experience of the dog trail mountain hiking.

Getting to The Trail 

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As we all know, the dog mountain trail also known as Augspurger is a popular destination among lots of hikers. Its trailhead is a bit crowded most of the time. If the hikers and visitors want to save their weekends while searching for parking, the shuttle might be a good option. The shuttle service can be taken by nearby Stevenson. If you do not want to take the shuttle, another option is to visit the trail on weekdays. Because on working days, the parking lot is not crowded like weekends. 

If the hikers and visitors are coming to the dog mountain trail on their wheels, then they can take a drive from the east of Vancouver on State Highway 14, adjacent to the Columbia River. On the north side of State Highway 14, there is a trailhead. The whole driving time from Vancouver to the trailhead is approximately an hour. 

One most important thing to remember about parking, never park your vehicles on highway 14 as there is two-way high-speed traffic on the high way 14.  So, for the sake of safety, be cautious while parking your vehicles. When you reached the parking lot, the trailhead starts immediately. 

If the visitors are coming from Portland, they can take highway 84 towards the Bridge of the Gods. Then take a left turn on Highway 14 on the east side, and after a few kilometers, mile marker 53 will become visible. From here parking lot of the dog mountain trail is easily accessible.

Park Facilities and Regulations 

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To park the vehicle at the Northwest Forest Pass side, or the side of America the Beautiful Pass, visitors will require to reach the trailhead of the Dog Mountain.

From the end of March to the start of July, hikers require to obtain a weekend permit for each trip that is $1. And $2 for the roundtrip. If the visitors want to visit the Northwest Forest Pass, they have to book advance permission from the recreation department. Regularly, only 165 permits per weekday are available. There is a facility for prior booking of the permits that are of six months’ duration. 

 Visitors who use shuttle service need to buy the only ticket of the shuttle service because the cost of the one trip or the trip round is included in the shuttle ticket. Hikers can select their shuttle service as per their trip duration they can buy a shuttle ticket that includes either single trip fees or roundtrip fees. There is no prior booking available for the shuttle service.  

There are restrooms and picnic tables available but hikers need to take information regarding them from the information desk near the ticketing service. 

For the visitors who want to hike till the Bridge of the Gods, they need to pay a toll of $2 each time.

Navigating the Dog Mountain Trail

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During the spring season, the dog mountain trail is thickly crowded, with visitors. That is why a permit is necessary for every single person who wants to hike there. There are two types of permits, a weekend permit, and a weekday permit. One is for weekends.

If the hikers use shuttle service executed by Skamania County. The weekend permits will be available at the shuttle terminal point costing $1 per trip or $2 for the whole trip that is reaching and coming back from the hiking trip. The second way is for weekdays. If the visitors want to get the weekday permit, reactreation.gov issues daily 100-weekday permits to the visitors costing $1. For the weekday hikers, it is important to know that permit does not ensure parking availability. It is only for the hiking trail.  

In the Gorge, the dog mountain trail is the most popular hiking spot. It provides a marvelous viewpoint and exceptional springtime flower’s sight to hikers.

From the top of the dog mountain trail, visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the Columbia River and Mount Hood. During the spring season, the top of the mountain got blanketed with vibrant golden yellow balsamroot. Sometimes the trail is sloppy, and sometimes it is heavily crowded but, the view that a hiker sees from the top is certainly worth the hiking effort.

The dog mountain trail hike starts with cardio of a half-mile climbing of a wooded area to the joining point. From here, hikers can take a right turn so they can reach the highest point of the track as soon as the hikers reached the top of the tail. The sights of the Columbia River become visible by the foliage.

During the spring season, the whole trekking path and the dog mountain region flooded with beautiful and eye captivating wildflowers. After a mile from the junction area, the dog mountain trail provides a rich panoramic viewpoint of the Wind Mountain, Columbia River, and of course, top view of the dog mountain itself. The whole area is best for a spring picnic and short hiking trips as well because the trail is not lengthy.

From this viewpoint, hikers can continue their ascending voyage, and after half-mile hiking, they reach the second junction of the dog mountain trail. From here, take a right turn and hike upwards to another half of a mile. This ground is the perfect place for the pause and to enjoy the beauty of nature. Backtrack your footsteps to go back to the parking area.

The best way to enjoy the hiking trip of the dog mountain trail is to stop at Stevenson Washington, where the hikers can easily find the Big River Grill or the Walking Man Brewery. The Brewery offers a wide variety of yummy pizzas and sandwiches while the area is open so, the visitors can enjoy the outdoor view and have the joy of every bit of their hiking trip. And the hikers who are not on the budget can enjoy fine dining at the Big River Grill.

Final Thoughts

Although the dog mountain trail is a highly crowded place, it is worth visiting. The dog mountain trail provides a beautiful view to their visitors, hikers, and climbers. The hiking track is not lengthy and not very difficult to hike. From the top of the trail, the viewpoint is beautiful with lots of dispersed wildflowers. 

The place is heaven in the literal meaning. To keep the hiking trail clean, hikers and visitors need to throw their garbage and waste in bins. To avoid the crowd, hikers and visitors must select any weekday to visit the spectacular dog mountain trail. Weekdays permits are available with prior bookings.

However, permits at the shuttle service do not cater to prior bookings. The picnic site is also crowded at the weekends. But those hikers, visitors, and climbers reach early in the morning, get the early bird price of a less crowded picnic place.

Enjoy the unique sight of the golden yellow wildflowers and pure aesthetics of nature at the dog mountain trail. Happy hiking!

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