Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint, Idaho

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

    Dog-Friendly Spots in Sandpoint Idaho

When you travel with a dog you start to realize that there are a lot of places you can not take your dog. Most places are more than happy to let people bring their kids along, but a dog… meh not so much.

Which I ask the question why? My dog does not kick the back of your seat when flying on an airplane. Or start screaming at the top of his lungs because he did not get that ice cream cone he thinks he needs.  Or plop himself down in the middle of a busy walkway because I have kept him up past his bedtime and he is too tired. No, Boomer would never…. well I’m not sure about the last one, as I have yet to see Boomer out of energy… ever.

I decided to write this post as I know it is hard to find places to take your dog while traveling. I also saw a post on Facebook that stated: “Sandpoint is not dog-friendly”. So as a dog owner who is familiar with the town of Sandpoint I would like to feature some dog-friendly spots in Sandpoint Idaho.

Dog-friendly spots in Sandpoint Idaho

Dog-Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Gold Hill Trail #3

Gold Hill Trail #3

The Gold Hill hike is a local’s favorite and visitors alike. The first part of the trail is canopied over with trees giving you a secret forest feeling. Once you reach the top of the hill the views of the lake, river and Schweitzer Mountain Resort reward you greatly. You can read our entire review of the Gold Hill Trail #3 here.

How to get there: located just outside of Sandpoint Idaho 4.8 miles (7.7 km) down Bottle Bay Road heading east. The trailhead is located on the right with a small parking lot. There is a bathroom facility located at the trailhead but no other facilities are located along the trail.

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Dirt
Shoes: Hiking shoes are best
Swimming Access: no
Path Usage: Heavy on a nice day
Pros: Amazing views from the top of Pend Oreille Lake, Pend Oreille River and the town of Sandpoint.
Cons: repetition of scenery.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Road to Picnic Point Trail

Road to Picnic Point, Schweitzer Mountain Resort

There are many trails at Schweitzer Mountain Resort but few are less traveled than the Road to Picnic Point. Be sure to bring your lunch along with you and take in the views of the lake and mountains.

How to get there: Leaving Sandpoint heading north on Highway 95. Turn left (west) at Schweitzer Cutoff Road and follow until the T intersection. Take a right (north) onto North Boyer Road (the fairgrounds will be across the street). Then turn left (west) at the “Welcome to Schweitzer” sign and follow the road for 9 switch-back miles. Parking can be found in the village. To find the trailhead follow the road leading towards the quad chairlift. Then take a right at the horse pen and follow the trail out to Lunch Peak.

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Dirt
Shoes: Hiking shoes are best
Swimming Access: No
Path Usage: Light
Pros: Views of Pend Oreille Lake and the town of Sandpoint. Wildlife viewing.
Cons: Mountainous driving up to Schweitzer.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Interesting graffiti artwork along the way of Pend Oreille Bay Trail

Pend Oreille Bay Trail

Formally known to locals as “Black Rock Trail” the Pend Oreille Bay Trail gives you an up close view of Lake Pend Oreille along with a few spots for your dog to hop in the water. This trail is fairly easy and is best enjoyed by Boomer and I during the fall season when the leaves start to change.

How to get there: From 1st avenue turn right on Bridge Street (heading towards the City Beach). Cross under the train track bridge and take the next left, before the left into the hotel/restaurant parking lot. Follow the road past The Seasons condominiums.  The trailhead and parking lot can be found at the dead-end.

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Dirt/gravel
Shoes: Walking shoes
Swimming Access: Yes
Path Usage: Heavy
Pros: Views of Pend Oreille Lake.
Cons: Unleashed dogs can be annoying when not under control.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

views of Lake Pend Oreille

Long Bridge Pedestrian Bridge

The Long Bridge Pedestrian Bridge is a popular trail for walkers, runners, and bikers. The trail runs alongside the highway for the most part but you can enjoy lakeside views and you have handy access to Dog Beach, a beach devoted to the dogs!

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

The trail follows along Lake Pend Oreille

How to get there: The trail can be accessed from either the north or south end of The Long Bridge. I recommend the north entrance as there is parking located near the trailhead next to the gas station.

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Pavement
Shoes: Walking shoes
Swimming Access: Yes
Path Usage: Heavy
Pros: Views of Pend Oreille Lake and Pend Oreille River; eagles and fish viewing.
Cons: Narrow trail and follows along the noisy highway.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Creekside Trail

Creekside Trail

The trail traces Sand Creek, giving you a peaceful and picturesque walk. There are several spots for your dog to access the creek for a cool down as well. Also recently added are trash cans along the trail for disposing of your pet’s waste, which is always a nice feature for a trail!

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Creekside Trail

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Pavement
Shoes: Walking shoes
Swimming Access: Yes
Path Usage: Moderate
Pros: Views of Sand Creek and Schweitzer Mountain Resort.
Cons: Located near the by-pass. Traffic can be loud depending on the time of day.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Memorial Field

Lakeview Park (Memorial Field) 

Sandpoint does not have many parks open to dogs but it is getting better.  Lakeview Park is one of the parks open to pets. Although they still have to be on a leash.  This park has several shaded spots, a picnic pavilion and access to the river for your pet to go swimming. During the Festival at Sandpoint a few years ago I sat outside the festival in the park and brought Boomer to hear Kenny Loggins. Boomer is a huge Loggins fan!

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Boomer enjoying Memorial Field

How to get here: 855 Ontario Street. Parking is located on the street or in the boat ramp parking area.

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Pavement
Shoes: Walking shoes
Swimming Access: Yes
Path Usage: Light
Pros: Views of Pend Oreille Lake, Pend Oreille River. Picnic options are available.
Cons: The park is near the sewer treatment plant; smells can sometimes be unsettling. Be glad you don’t live there.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

a peek of the view while hiking along Mickinnick

Mickinnick Trail #13

Mickinnick is not for anyone looking for a leisurely stroll. The views of the town, mountains, and lake are well worth the effort, however. Wildlife can be found on this trail so I recommend keeping your pet on a leash.

How to get here: From Sandpoint follow Boyer north turning left on Baldy Mountain Road. Turn right on Great Northern Road and follow to the T intersection. Turn left on Woodland Drive, crossing the railroad tracks. The trailhead is located on the left.

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Dirt/rocks
Shoes: Hiking boots
Swimming Access: No
Path Usage: Moderate
Pros: View from the top will change your life.
Cons: One hell of a climb; 2150′ elevation gain.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

the Sandpoint to Dover trail

Sandpoint-Dover Community Trail

This trail is for anyone looking for a leisurely stroll. The trail connects Sandpoint and Dover that is friendly to walkers, runners, and bikers. There are a few pet waste stations and trash pick up areas along the trail.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

The trail from Sandpoint to Dover

How to get here: There are no restrictions as to where you can get on the trail. The trail starts in the north part of town across from the Safeway grocery store and ends in Dover. Parking can be found in city parking lots around town.

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Pavement
Shoes: Walking shoes
Swimming Access: No (unless you walk all the way to Dover Bay)
Path Usage: Heavy
Pros: Views of Pend Oreille River once you are out of town.
Cons: Some of the trail is in town along the highway.

Willing to head out of Sandpoint for dog-friendly spots?

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Snow Creek Falls

Snow Creek Falls

This is a fun hike that leads you to two different waterfalls. The upper falls are more impressive than the lower falls but both are worthy of checking out if you ask us!

How to get here: head south of Bonners Ferry on Idaho State Highway 95, turning at the golf course 2.5 miles out of town. Turn right on Moravia road (there will be a brown sign for Snow Creek Falls) This road will meet up with Forest Service Road 417. Turn right and follow for about 2 miles. Take road 402, a left off of 417, for about 1.5 miles.

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Dirt
Shoes: Walking shoes are OK but we recommend hiking boots
Swimming Access: We consider this “water access”; probably best to skip the swimming
Path Usage: Light
Pros: Mountain views and beautiful waterfalls.
Cons: Mountainous driving and no real parking lot.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Boomer enjoying some swimming in the river

Dover Bay City Park

Dover Bay City Park has two main attractions for dog owners. The first is the boardwalk path that leads you through a small wooded area and out to the Pend Oreille River. Follow the path to the end and you will find a more private beach setting, inclusive of your own patch of sand. I do recommend if you want to take a swim to stick with the Dover Bay Beach, at the beginning of the trail. The rock walls protecting the shoreline are not very accommodating for a quick dash into the water.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

Dover Bay City Park

Boomer’s Notes:
Trail Type: Pavement/wooden bridges and dirt paths
Shoes: Walking shoes
Swimming Access: Yes
Path Usage: Moderate
Pros: Views of Pend Oreille River.
Cons: Water access other than the Dover Beach is not very accommodating for pets.

Check out more hikes around the Sandpoint area with our two part series:Hikes In North Idaho You And Your Dog Should Do Part 1” and “Hikes In North Idaho You And Your Dog Should Do Part 2

Dog-Friendly establishments in Sandpoint.

Food/Drinks:
Laughing Dog Brewery 805 Schweitzer Plaza Way Ponderay ID 83852.
Idaho Pour Authority 203 Cedar St, Sandpoint, ID 83864
MickDuffs Brew Pub outside patio 312 N First Ave, Sandpoint, ID 83864
MickDuffs Brewhall 220 Cedar Street, Sandpoint ID 83864

Retail Stores:
Petco  Eastgate Dr, Ponderay, ID 83852 (located in the Bonner Mall)
North 40 Outfitters  477181 U.S. 95, Ponderay, ID 83852
Home Depot 500 Kootenai Cutoff Rd, Ponderay, ID 83852
Cedar Street Bridge 334 N 1st Ave Sandpoint ID 83864
Meadowbrook Home & Gift (inside the Cedar Street Bridge). Be sure to pick up a bag of Boomer’s Barley Biscuits while you are there! They are the perfect snack for your pup while walking around town.
Great Suff 313 N First Ave Sandpoint ID 83864 – Boomer’s Barley Biscuits are also available here.
More retail stores are becoming dog-friendly. Look for a round white sticker with a black paw print for businesses who welcome our furry friends.

Be sure to call ahead before bringing your pet to any of the above pet-friendly stores as policies may have changed without notice.

Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint Idaho

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10 Responses to Dog Friendly Spots Sandpoint, Idaho

  1. Any pooch would love those spot – so great that there is so much to do with your best mate 🙂 Thanks for linking up with us.

  2. San says:

    Those are beautiful places, even better with a dog! I hope I am going to live at a place where I can have a dog as well 😉 Thanks for sharing the great pictures!

  3. Adam says:

    Excellent resource … I’ve been to the Mountain West a number of times, but not the Panhandle of Idaho yet. Looks like I’ll need to take Sam (my precious golden) up here sometime soon!

  4. Audrey says:

    Totally check out the spot off Sunnyside Rd if you haven’t! Especially during the non-super-touristy part of the year. Great lake access, easy short trail, and barely ever anyone there.

    Head out Sunnyside road, and after crossing the creek, on the right is a gravel parking lot. Take the trail-head at the gate at the back-end of the lot.

    Also pretty cool because there are some old foundations out there.

  5. Chuck says:

    Great post. Since we are relatively new to N Idaho we’re always looking for new places to go on a hike with the dog but since we don’t drink I just skip the beer posts 🙂

    • Welcome to the area! Boomer and Jovi love to explore so be sure to check out the “classic” posts (aka previously posted blogs) on our site about dog friendly places. Thanks for reading.

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