I know that lots of Portland dogs have already been on many of these trips. And the hipster Portland dogs sniffed them long before they were cool. But, if you haven’t crossed these six bucket-list items off your dog’s list yet, you’re missing what it means to be a dog owner in Portland, Oregon.
Oregon’s stunning, expansive beaches are the perfect place to let excited dogs run, following local leash laws, of course! Your dog will love chasing a ball, or barking at the waves and gulls on the beach, and you can find lots of great dog-friendly patios for lunch.
Bring fresh water for your dog, as they may drink too much saltwater, which can make your dog sick.
Don’t forget to come back to the Oregon Coast for a day hike up one of the Capes or Heads. My dog and I love the climb up Neahkahnie Mountain for the best view on the coast.
2. Swimming in the River at “1,000 Acres Park”
Distance from Portland: ~30 minutes
Activity Time: 1–3 hours
“1,000 Acres Park” is the crowning jewel of off-leash dog parks in the Portland Metro Area. This huge park on the Sandy River delta is just outside Portland, and has become hugely popular, so arrive early to find a good parking spot.
We start my dog’s trips to this park playing fetch and walking through the open fields on the south (highway) side of the park before looping around to splash, swim, and cool off in the Sandy River.
The park is definitely big enough for the hundreds of daily visitors, with plenty of space for your dog to run, swim, explore, and make new four-legged friends.
3. Drinking a Beer at Fido’s Dog Tap House
Distance from Portland: In Tigard, 20 minutes from Portland
Activity Time: 30–90 minutes
Alright, this one is for you to enjoy. And while you can pick any dog-friendly patio from dozens of pubs and restaurants around Portland, I recommend visiting Fido’s. It’s the world’s first tap house for dogs!
“A new hybrid business unlike anything seen before. A great Craft Beer Tap Room and…wait for it…a foster house for Shelter dogs that need a home.” (ilovefidos.com)
Be careful when you bring your dog to the patio, as she may get jealous when you go to visit the puppy room! Portions of all proceeds go to help dog charities around the world, so order an extra “Pit Mastiff” hot dog for your four-legged friend.
Visit with owner Scott Porter, and ask about the dog that inspired him to open Fido’s Dog Tap House.
4. Hiking in the Columbia River Gorge
Distance from Portland: 45–120 minutes
Activity Time: 2–6 hours
You can drive to dozens of gorgeous hikes within two hours of Portland by heading into the Scenic Columbia River Gorge. The rewards for these hikes are endless, most of them come with visits to waterfalls and far-reaching views of the river.
The most popular hikes, like Multnomah Falls, are often a little too crowded to hike comfortably with your dog, but you’ll usually find most trails open up within a mile of hiking. Spring is a beautiful time to visit the more open slopes close to Hood River for wildflowers, and all the hikes are great throughout the summer.
NOTICE: Most trails from Wyeth to Troutdale on the Oregon side of the Columbia River are currently CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC, due to the Eagle Creek fire. Please check with Gorge Friends.org for up-to-date trail closure information.
5. Playing in the Snow on Mt Hood
Distance from Portland: 1.5–2 hours
Activity Time: 2–4 hours
Mt Hood provides a fantastic winter playground from December through March on most years. Your dog will love romping through snow-banks, snapping at tossed snowballs, and letting their inner-puppy out.
Head out of Portland early in the morning for this winter trip, as traffic will back up the mountain quickly! This way, you can get several hours of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in and head back down the mountain before traffic piles up again.
6. Exploring a City Park with PDX Metro Pack Walks
Distance from Portland: Pack Walks are held around the Metro Area
Activity Time: 2 hours
Pack Walks are a blast for your dog! The leash connection keeps nervous dogs attuned to their humans, and the activity helps energetic dogs focus. PDX Metro Pack Walks is a local dog-loving and outdoor enthusiast group that holds free Pack Walks for bonding, training, socializing, and exercising with your dog.
Throughout the year, PDX Metro Pack Walks visits many different parks around the Portland, Oregon metro area, so you’re sure to find a new, favorite, local hike that your dog will love. Chances are you’ll run into me as well, since I’m the founder and organizer for the Pack. ;)
This is the only activity you’ve got to match up your schedule with, as Pack Walks happen at 10:00 am on the first Saturday of every month. You can learn more about this great dog group by visiting their page on Facebook, or by joining the group on Meetup!
How many of these trips have you taken your dog on? If it’s only one or two, you’ve got some adventuring to do! Three, four, or five and you can proudly say your dog is a Portland dog. Got all six? Then your dog must wear a collar made of signature PDX carpet and only drink craft-brewed water!
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy these favorite doggy day trips in and around Portland, Oregon!