Dog Policies

Dogs are only allowed on “dog tours.” The purpose of this policy is to offer guidelines for day tour and overnight trip leaders and participants for dog friendly ski activities. Additionally, it is hoped this policy will provide ideas and suggestions to the general public on how to ski enjoyably and safely with one’s dog. Dog friendly ski activities are noted as such in the activity description and by the use of a dog icon next to the title.

A. General

1. Dog friendly tour/trip leaders (leaders) are required to follow all other ONC Portland policies.
2. All dog friendly ski activities are to be approved by the Day Tour Coordinator/Overnight Trip Coordinator prior to their listing.
3. Leaders are required to follow all state, federal, and county regulations regarding dogs, and it is the leader’s responsibility to know those regulations in advance.
4. Leaders are responsible for the behavior of all dogs and shall exclude any dog that is not under adequate leash or voice control.
5. All dogs are to be leashed while in sno-parks or near highways.
6. Dog owners have primary responsibility for their own dog.
7. Preregistration is recommended to comply with the skier/dog ratio.

B. Specific Requirements

1. Dog friendly tours/trips are required to have the following “dog essentials”:
a) All dogs should have a leash available.
b) Water and bowl adequate for a day’s outing.
c) Plastic bags and trowel. A watertight plastic container is recommended as well.
d) Dog food and treats.
e) All dogs are current on required vaccinations.
f) Basic canine first aid kit (for example: gauze, ointment, and vet wrap).
g) Dog booties are to be considered on an individual basis.

2. Trail Selection and Demeanor
a) The ratio of dogs to skiers shall not exceed 1.0.
b) Dog friendly tours and trips are not allowed on ski trails that are high risk for an adverse dog-skier event. Such trails are characterized by narrowness, steep inclines, and curves with limited visibility. Examples of such trails are Twin Lakes Trail, Yellowjacket Trail, Bennett Ridge Trail starting at the “S” curves, Swift Creek Trail, June Lake Trail, Pika Trail, Kalama Trail, Pete Gulch Trail (Tr. No. 157), Indian Heaven Trail (Tr. No. 159), and Tilly Jane Trail.
c) In general, ski trails signed by blue diamonds should be avoided. Exceptions that provide adequate space for dogs and skiers include Mud Creek Ridge Trails, Pocket Creek Trails, road ski tours out of Barlow Pass Sno-Park and Bennett Pass Sno-Park, and Sherar Burn Road. Using some of these trails may require short term leashing of dogs for safely connecting via groomed trails. Even these types of trails are best avoided on winter weekends.
d) The best choice for dog friendly ski tours are undeveloped roads, backcountry, and off trail routes. Examples are Forest Service Roads 32, 3211, 31, and 6507 in the Wind River area, Forest Service Roads 8100, 83, 8312 in the Mt. St. Helens area, and Frog Lake Butte and Clear Lake basin tours in the Mt. Hood area.
e) It is best practice to avoid ski tracks set by other skiers. In the event this is necessary, at least one skier shall ski in the sweep position and clean up set tracks and reset the track as best as possible.
f) The greatest chance of an adverse skier-dog event occurs when both a skier and dog are under less than ideal control. These events can be prevented by the following:
1) Dogs should be visible at all times.
2) At no time shall a dog be in the lead on an uphill section of trail or road.

Approved by the ONC Board September 14, 2010