In central Oregon's serene Deschutes National Forest, the Peter Skene Ogden Trail is ideal for serious hikers and the dogs who love them. Several trailheads are available to customize a journey that's just right for Chihuahuas, Great Danes, or any size in between.
The eastern trailhead is located next to the Ogden Group Campsite; parking here does not require a pass or fee. The trail follows lovely Paulina Creek through tall pine forest. The water gets increasingly turbulent, forming whitewater rapids and stunning waterfalls you'll enjoy from trailside viewing areas.
You can shave 2.5 miles of trail (and begin closer to the most scenic parts of the hike) by starting at the McKay Campground farther west. A short side trail near the trailhead leads to McKay Falls. About 1.5 miles past McKay on the Ogden Trail, you'll hit an amazing natural water slide. Hikers often pause their paws for a splash, so you might want a lightweight towel for your gear. Unless your pups are strong swimmers and particularly sure-footed, though, they should avoid this slippery spot.
Several other waterfalls can be seen from the trail, including the 80-foot dual cascades of Paulina Falls. The western trailhead is located at pawpular Paulina Lake Day Use Area. Starting your hike at Paulina Lake requires a $5 day-use recreation area fee; pay the day-use fee online and print a pass for your car. The annual Northwest Forest and Interagency Pass are also accepted. Or, stay the night at the lakeside campground so you can have more time to enjoy the hot springs.
Nearby trails add more options to customize your hike to Fido's preferences. If your pup is a water dog, extend your walk with the loop trail around Paulina Lake. If they have a nose for geology, take the side Crater Rim side trail in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
Vault toilets and drinking water are available at Ogden, McKay, and Paula Lake campgrounds and day-use areas.