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Hiking High peaks with my dog

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  • Hiking High peaks with my dog

    I want to hike some more high peaks with my dog. He is a 65 lb pointer mix who I keep on a leash at all times. I know a lot of high peaks require some real scrambles and he is pretty heavy to have to carry or help in precarious spots. So far we have done Marcy, Cascade and Porter, and Wright (toughest scramble spot for my dog).
    Could anyone help in telling me what other high peaks I could take my dog without running into any real problem spots??
    Would like to take him along on more high peaks, but rather not risk getting stuck somewhere.


  • #2
    Sreet & Nye.
    Whiteface & Esther.


    • #3
      Welcome to the Forum!

      There's lots of dogs out there who have climbed all 46 High Peaks, but I'm really not sure why. The tougher peaks will typically either have alternative routes (such as Saddleback), or dogs can safely find their own routes in some cases (not recommended because it means letting them off leash). That being said, there's other things to consider when hiking at elevation with your dog. First is the fact that it is extremely strenuous for them, and they really need to be trained for these hikes in the same way that people do. They also have very little water carrying capacity and small kidneys as well, and should be offered water much, much more frequently than us humans stop to drink. The last thing to consider is that your dog doesn't care about hiking tall mountains. They'll gladly and lovingly follow you through whatever hell you can put them through without complaint, but they are not reaping any more benefits what so ever from the experience than they would from a long walk around your local county park.

      That being said, if your dog handled Marcy OK, Tabletop, Colden from the Lake Arnold Side, Street/Nye are probably all fine for him.
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


      • #4
        pcerny68 Good luck hiking with your dog. Please be kind to your pup and not take them out without enough water or food for them and be sure to stay home on the hot days! There was the tragic death of a St. Bernard on Giant last July on a terribly hot and humid day! :( Think about how you'll get your dog down if they become injured. I've seen a harness on the "Hiking with Dogs" Facebook group where you carry the dog on your back. For now, I hike with a hammock in my pack that my wife and I could put our dog in if she were injured.


        • #5
          I would stay away from the dix range and great range, especially on a hot day. no water up high.
          Anything out of AMR definitely no go.
          We just did wright peak with our akita shephard mix, the only spot she needed assistance was the last scramble at tree line, but I would think along the lines of that trail with plenty of water crossings. Giant and RPR was no problem for Rory, but as seen recently and stated above that is not good for canines when it is hot, not much water up high at all.
          The peaks listed above would probably be good.
          Maybe hikes out of Upper Works would be good with lots of water crossings/etc.
          35er #3133

          "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds"


          • #6
            Thanks for the help guys,
            I live in Jersey and come up to the Adirondacks 3-4 times a year to hike. For the last couple years I stayed in the Central region where there is great hiking and more dog friendly terrain. The few times I took my dog to the high peaks, I think it was less enjoyable for both of us (mostly because he is on a leash). I have done several others without him and know it would have been a bad decision if he came.
            Was just looking to see if there was a few high peaks we could do without running into any issues. Sounds like street and Nye are a good choice


            • bikerhiker
              bikerhiker commented
              Editing a comment
              Just thinking of something...when I was mentioning water crossings above, I meant it in a good way for the dogs, as in the many small run-off/brooks/streams like you see on the mac trail on way up to wright or the indian falls water crossing on the van ho. nice places for a drink and even a lay-down if its hot.
              one thing I would consider is real "water-crossings", those with possible dangerous levels of flow. When I was at street and nye I did it without my 4-legged shadow and at that point the brook was easily rock-hoppable, hopefully others with more knowledge on this will say one way or another, i might not remember it right but it seemed that water crossing of the brook might not be too fun with a dog after hard rains/snow melt/etc. Crossings like that not good fun for just a person probably even less fun with their dog. But im guessing that one shouldn't be too bad in the summer most of the time.

          • #7
            It all depends on the dog I suppose. I did the entire Seward Range with a friend's very large Irish Wolfhound. He did great, but is also the size of an average human. Walked right up the slabs like it was nothing. Was pretty exhausted by the end though. As we all were.

            It's good that you're asking for advice though, some peaks I just couldn't imagine trying to get a dog up the scrambles, but the recommendations here are solid given what you've already done together.

            One thing that hasn't been explicitly stated (although bikerhiker alluded to it) is that the AMR/Ausable Club prohibits dogs on their property and definitely enforces this rule very strictly. Some people choose alternate routes, just to hit those peaks with dogs.


            • Learning The Trails
              Editing a comment
              FlyFishingandBeer - it might seem antiquated but I don't blame AC/AMR for forbidding dogs. We already know some people aren't the greatest about cleaning up after themselves. Odds are Lake Road would be littered with dog poop.
              It also eliminates dog skirmishes and people (namely members) from getting bit.
              Plus, they have the golf course, tennis courts and outdoor dining. Members probably don't want to deal with listening to loud dogs bark at eachother while enjoying those activities.
              Etc. Etc.

            • bikerhiker
              bikerhiker commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree. Maybe I have misinterpreted it or something, but isn't it private property? that they are at least allowing hiker easement through their property, it's not public property/state land? And i would think a responsible dog owner respects that fact and wouldn't jeopardize the easement for everyone who hikes. So while often I would rather go with my dog so we both get exercise, unfortunately she won't get to fish hawk cliffs or Indian head. I always say she goes for the chews (my pretzels/etc) and not for the views anyway.

            • Makwa
              Makwa commented
              Editing a comment
              There's no jeopardizing the easement. That has been permanently deeded to NYS. We all talk like the Ausable Club is doing us a huge favor letting hikers walk through their property when in fact there's no going back on the deal. This is not to say that the hiking community shouldn't be respectful of the easement and act appropriately but a few numb-nuts with dogs or others breaking rules isn't going to put access in peril.

          • #8
            Any place where there is a ladder is a potential problem spot. For example, I have seen dogs & their owners have problems at the ladder at the Lake Colden dam.


            • Makwa
              Makwa commented
              Editing a comment
              Armstrong from the Wolfjaws side. Very big ladder there. Not sure I'd want to carry a dog up it.

          • #9
            I would think that Marshall from the Herbert Brook side should be okay for your dog. I don't recall any real scrambles on that route.
            We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige


            • Fat Man Hiking
              Fat Man Hiking commented
              Editing a comment
              I was thinking the same thing except for that one fun little spot just before the summit.

            • debmonster
              debmonster commented
              Editing a comment
              Good point. But it might be about the same as the spot on Wright.