The Salmon River Trail, in the Mount Hood National Forest, is dog bone-shaped, with an out-and-back that has a loop on its end. Doggos are welcome on the trail, but it can be busy and crowded at times, and there are some steep fall-offs on the river side, so a leash is a good idea. Parking can be found just before the Salmon River Bridge, in pull-offs along the road. Although it's open year-round, the trail is not maintained in winter, so snowshoes would be necessary. Weekends during early spring through early fall are the most popular hiking times and the trail can be busy.
One of the characteristics of this trail is its softness and quiet. Moss-covered trees and rocks line the route, buffering what sound there is, which is mostly from the river and its waterfalls far below. For the first 2 miles, the hike is gentle and easy, and it lulls you into a sense of mellow wonder. From 2 miles on, it climbs steadily up the mountain and away from the river until you find yourself at a pawsome viewpoint on a bluff 600 feet above the canyon, where you can hear, but not see the rushing river and falls. There are several unmarked side trails to the right of the main trail which may beckon you to try to get closer to the river, but their drops are precipitous and dangerous.
On the way to the viewpoint, you'll pass primitive campsites and cross over narrow footbridges spanning small streams and creeks feeding the river. The wild lilies and other flowers in the spring are breathtaking and the old growth of trees and the undergrowth give shelter to many animals, including bear, deer, cougars and martens. The fur-pup will have a furtastic time sniffing out the critters or where they have been as you pass.
A Northwest Wilderness Pass is required for the use of the trail, and can be obtained from the USDA Forest Service on-line or at the trailhead for day users. This is an enjoyable and not-too difficult trail for family outings with Fido!
There are several places on this trail that are fall dangers along the creeks above the canyon, especially beyond the 3.5-mile mark. Watch your footing and don't take any side trails down toward the river, however tempting they may look.