The fantastically Fido-friendly Weiser River Trail is an amazing choice for a longer hike with your pooch! A converted railway line, the route runs 84 miles from the small Idaho town of Wye all the way to Weiser. This trail is ideal for a backpacking holiday -- you can stop for provisions in the towns of Midvale, Cambridge, and Council, and while there are no pup-friendly hotels in any of these communities, you and your pooch are free to camp at Mundo near Cambridge or Evergreen campground between Council and New Meadows, or you can check out the local AirBnB offerings. Like most hiking trails in temperate zones, congestion varies from season to season, but a trek as long as this one never really feels crowded! Parking is available at all trailheads, but capacity varies.
When it comes to sheer diversity of scenery, it’s hard to beat the Weiser River Trail. The route meanders through forest, pastoral, and mountain landscape, passing fabulous water features along the way. Hell’s Canyon in particular is a real mutts-visit! The deepest gorge in North America is one of the most famous features on the path, but you’d be barking mad to miss the Galloway Dam, or to pass up an opportunity to soak in Mundo Hot Springs, where wagging tails are welcome as long as they’re leashed. And of course, you’ll have a chance to spot all sorts of wildlife and birds, including quails, herons, deer, and elk -- you might want to keep a tight leash on your little tearaway if they have a tendency to chase after other animals.
Though the Weiser River Trail passes through some mountainous terrain, as a part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the converted rail-line features only moderate inclines all the way. Still, older or slower furry friends might find the way back a little harder going. When it comes to facilities, the trail truly does have the best of both worlds; the length and landscape make it easy to feel like you’re lost in the wilderness, but restrooms are available at the campsites and at many of the communities along the way, where you’ll also have a chance to stock up on food and other essentials. Still, be sure to have enough water and waste bags with you! As you might expect, this long, downhill ride is pretty popular with mountain bikers, so watch out for speeding cyclists.