As I have said before, when hiking with your dog you have to start small and then go big. You can’t lead a sedentary life, or only walk a mile or two a week, and decide to go climb a big mountain tomorrow. Both you and your dog have to be properly conditioned for that kind of hiking.
Yesterday we hiked 7.5 miles to Annette Lake. For most small dogs, that would take a long time to work up to, if they could ever do it. Chester and Gretel have been hiking for years and I know they are capable of that distance (not much more in a day though). They completed a couple hikes last year that were this long and, in fact, steeper than the Lake Annette trail. We have been hiking for a couple of months this year to build back up to that distance.
If you are going to tackle 8 miles with your dog, this is a good first-trail to do it on. It was certainly an uphill climb but pretty moderate as Western Washington trails go. There were enough flat-ish stretches to give you a quick break. There were also plenty of places along the trail to stop and take a break.
We saw 5 groups of people at the top at least 3 of them had dogs with them.
The lake was beautiful but I was glad I remembered my bug spray this time….although the bugs didn’t listen much. I hear the lake is shallow enough that it is pleasant to swim in by the middle of summer. I didn’t see anyone fishing but we did see trout jumping and even saw a small one swimming by the log we had lunch on.
It was a great workout, a beautiful spot and I can’t wait for our next hike.
Check out Chester’s hiking style. He is always such a happy boy.
Distance: 7.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet
Highest Point: 3,600 feet