Status of Dogs in Wilderness Areas?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
User avatar
Topix Docent
Posts: 7829
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Wilton, CA

Re: Status of Dogs in Wilderness Areas?

Post by rlown » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:58 pm

What would your proposal be to "vet" a canine companion in such places? Simba is on my permit for September to Humphreys basin and French.
It was just a check box "dog".

User avatar
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 11117
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Status of Dogs in Wilderness Areas?

Post by maverick » Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:17 pm

We ask the public to remember these rules when bringing in pets to the forest or wilderness areas.
Pick up behind your pet when in public areas and be sure to bury feces when in the wilderness.

Do not tie up dogs and leave them unattended.

Do not allow dogs to chase wildlife.

Leave unfriendly or loud dogs at home.
How many dog owners here follow NF rule pertaining to the feces in the backcountry?
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member:

User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Docent
Posts: 5382
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)

Re: Status of Dogs in Wilderness Areas?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:31 pm

Do not misunderstand me; I always take a leash for my dog and use it when needed. Each breed and each individual dog is different. Our border collie sticks with us like glue- we are her "flock". In 8 years she has NEVER let us out of her sight let alone get lost. I rarely take our dog when by myself- she comes when my husband goes with me. When alone, I would rather not have to worry about the dog.

I too have been bitten by an ill behaved dog on the trail, jumped upon by a muddy dog, barked at, etc. These rare encounters are OK, but too many dogs can get crazy. Perhaps along with trail quotas, only a percentage (50%?) of permits should include a dog. But my experience is that most of the dogs on the trail are with day-hikers, who do not need permits. I suspect this is the main reason for the leash rule. Most dogs I have met on the trail are not on the leash but the owners often put on the leash when they see someone coming.

California State Parks are notoriously anti-dog. I did hear that with some new management a few years ago they were going to experiment with allowing some dogs in some areas. I have not heard if that was actually done. Some Utah State Parks allow dogs on the trails such as Kodachrome Cliffs. But, there is so much Forest Service and BLM land where dogs are allowed, that I do not think there is much incentive for the NPS or Ca State Parks to allow dogs.

Mav- your post came just before mine! Perhaps we need a "dog talk" from the ranger when we check the "dog" box on the permit.

User avatar
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1187
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Status of Dogs in Wilderness Areas?

Post by Harlen » Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:54 pm

Maverick asks:
How many dog owners here follow NF rule pertaining to the feces in the backcountry?
Bench Canyon 448.JPG
Every one I can find! I walk them away from water smeared to a rock, like in this case, and bury it. My trouble comes on winter-spring trips. Then, I try to find rocks to place the dog-shite under, or better, to slip it into rock crevices. Last option is to put it under the snow in an area with bushes; that way it won't be out in the open to be stepped on when the snow melts.
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

User avatar
Topix Regular
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:06 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Status of Dogs in Wilderness Areas?

Post by Snowtrout » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:14 pm

I’ll chime into the conversation since I do take my dogs into the wilderness.

In the past, my wife and I have allowed our dogs to be off leash but the two we take now are always on leash. One is 15lbs, the other is 11, so carrying them out is not an issue. We are very aware that not everyone is dog friendly, so on trail, we either pick them up or move off the trail when people are passing and usually set up camp far away from others.

To answer Mav’s question, when in camp, their poop is buried. When on trail, it’s usually flicked away with my pole into the duff or rocks.

I’ve had one bad incident while backpacking. I was nipped by a “friendly dog” off leash with the owners 20’ away and they did nothing. Didn’t even apologize. Pissed me off as a dog owner since it’s incidents like that that can prompt restrictions.

User avatar
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Posts: 2431
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Crowley Lake and Tuolumne Meadows

Re: Status of Dogs in Wilderness Areas?

Post by markskor » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:27 pm

c9h13no3 wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:49 am
What do you call a dog under voice control? Lost.
If all dogs encountered were like Bearzy, (encountered coming up Pine Creek)...unleashed but obviously well-trained, then no problems...but -
Just wondering - As I carry no bear spray, and my only knife the smallest SAK...(as any readily available weapon not really needed as other than the rare encounter with a large cat, not ever needed). This leaves treking pole tips my only viable defense against your "Oh, he doesn't bite" companion. Lesson learned the hard way - If off-leash and attacking/a biting posture... Sorry.
Mountainman who swims with trout

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests