We get many people traveling to Forks with their pets. Although it’s mostly dogs, we have had visitors come to the Visitor Information Center with a car full of cats. There are many people whose hobby includes horses too so we can’t forget about them. I’m sure other various creatures accompany visitors on their travels, but I guess they stay in the car.
When you live in and travel to a place that is surrounded by the Olympic National Park you learn pretty quickly that dogs are not welcome on most of the trails. There are exceptions of course. From the Olympic National Park’s Pet Policy: To protect park wildlife, to provide for you and your pet’s safety and to help all visitors enjoy the park, please observe the following rules:
Pets are permitted (leashed only, maximum 6′ length) in park campgrounds, picnic areas, and parking lots; they are also allowed on the following trails and ocean beaches:
- Spruce Railroad Trail (Olympic Discovery Trail)
- Peabody Creek Trail
- All Kalaloch Beaches (from Ruby Beach south to South Beach)
- Rialto Beach, 0.8 mile north to Ellen Creek only (day use only)
- Pets are prohibited on any other trails, beaches, in the park’s designated wilderness, in public buildings or in boats on park rivers.
But don’t get discouraged! If you want to take your best friend with you, and want them to have as much fun as you, Forks is for you!
There are many pet friendly places that do welcome your dog (and cat I suppose). There are local lodging establishments that welcome furry four legged guests. I spoke to visitors this week that were traveling with their 5 huskies, came to town with no reservations and got right in at Quileute Oceanside Resort, no problem! And First Beach in La Push is a popular destination for locals and visitors to take their pups for a romp on the beach. There are stores in town like True Value, that make sure they are amply stocked with dog biscuits, right at nose height. Twilight Tours by Team Forks will let you bring your pup along on a Twilight tour. Let me guess – your dog is team Jacob?
If you want a short excursion while you are in town, check out Olympic Natural Resources Center located just south of the Visitor Information Center. They have numerous trails and a scenic overlook of Forks. Bear and cougar have been spotted, but not often. The ‘Trail of Senses Interpretive Hike’ at the Elk Creek Conservation Area on Calawah Way is just minutes from downtown. The Olympic National Forest is very pet friendly and invites you to walk your dog on their trails. Mt. Muller boasts outstanding views of the Sol Duc Valley, Lake Crescent, and the Olympic Mountain Ranges. It is also home to the Littleton Horse Camp and a wonderful 13 mile loop trail with an excellent equestrian campground. The ONF also offers the Bogachiel Rainforest Trail, just south of Forks. The trail can get a bit muddy during the rainy season, but is a great way to see the rainforest without going all the way to the Hoh. Although keeping your dog on leash at all times is best (“lots of wildlife in them thar hills”), they trust you will use your best judgment.
Clallam County invites you to enjoy their parks – Quillayute River, Lake Pleasant, Pillar Point, Salt Creek and others. They do require that you keep your dog on a leash (8 foot maximum.)
One business we could really use in Forks that we don’t have is a 24 hour dog wash. Wouldn’t that be nice?
And of course, last but not least – please bring your baby into the Forks Visitor Information Center so we can meet them. We are pet friendly in Forks!