A fantastic hike on your to-do list in the state of Montana is the Pioneer Loop Trail, which should be marked at #1! Located in the southwest region of the state, this hike is surrounded by the Pioneer mountains with miles of scenic views for you to enjoy along the Wise River.
Pioneer Loop traverses a whopping 35 miles through the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and offers an unprecedented hike in the wilderness. Your pup will love being out in nature while spending quality time together. Old mining roads will take you on your journey through diverse landscaped of 500,000 acres of forests and meadows. This trail will also take you past two beautiful lakes, Schwinger and Baldy Lakes, which are perfect relaxation areas along the hike. How about a picnic lunch here?
There are plenty of places along your journey that you can let your pup swim or just wade in to cool off during the summer months, but be advised that the water is quite cold year-round here. You can also plan a multi-day hike as there are backcountry campsite available to you that are pup-friendly. It is advised to keep Fido on leash throughout the hike for their safety, as wildlife is plentiful here.
The trail is gentle in many areas, although there are some rather steep climbs as well. The average grade to expect is 6%, although some of the more rugged areas can reach a 37% grade. Be sure to adjust accordingly for those pups that are not yet in the best fitness shape. You should also plan for varied weather and bring plenty of water and food for your trek.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are other options for cold-weather lovers! Your pup will love it just the same! So, check off Pioneer Loop as a must-do adventure with your fur-ever friend.
Elk, mountain goat and deer are prevalent here. Rapid changes in weather can be expected. Be sure to stick to the trail as this is a wilderness route!