A stunning 3-mile stroll with easy inclines and fabulous lake views, Domke Lake might be the pawfect Fido-friendly hike were it not for one small detail -- the trailhead is only accessible by boat. If you have or can rent your own vessel, you can depart from the dock at Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park outside Chelan, WA.
Otherwise, you’ll be relying on the Lady of the Lake ferry service from Chelan, Field’s Point, Stekhein, or Lucerne. The ferry welcomes wagging tails aboard, but with a couple of caveats. Your pup will need to be caged, and there’s an extra fee -- $7.50 per pooch in their person’s cage, or $13.50 in a boat company cage, on top of the $24 cost of your own passage (on the slow boat -- it’s $61 on the express service). There’s also $5 per day parking cost at the boat dock, or $7 for overnight parking. If your buddy can stay cooped up for up to three hours, and the price isn’t a dealbreaker, be sure to get there early enough to make it worth it if you’re planning a day trip. If you’d like to stay the night, you two can pitch your tent at the campsite on Domke Lake, or at the Stuart Campsite at the other end of the trail.
The trail itself meanders through a portion of the Wenatchee National Forest, and occasionally you’ll catch a glimpse of the majestic Lake Chelan. Avid anglers will be glad to know that Domke Lake itself is something of a place of pilgrimage for those seeking trout. Expect to see chipmunks, squirrels and other woodland critters along the route -- you might want to keep your furry friend on a tight leash if they’re the type to chase after small, scurrying things!
Domke Lake Trail isn’t entirely level, but the incline is very gradual, so this route should suit everyone from laid-back lapdogs to four-pawed fitness freaks. In terms of facilities, you’ll find pit toilets at the campgrounds. There’s no water at either of the sites, though, so bring your own or pack a filtration system. Remember to bring waste bags with you, and enjoy your time at the lake!