Snowshoeing with the Dogs

We got out for another snowshoeing trip up at Carson Pass a couple weekends ago. Kristy wanted to bring the dogs. While I was reluctant to bring them due to the terrain and conditions, I couldn’t say no after looking into their eyes. They wanted to go play outside so bad (can you blame them?), but they also had that look on their faces that said they would trash the house if they didn’t get to go.

Snowshoeing Carson Pass

The Carson Pass and Meiss Meadow trailhead were both packed when we arrived at the pass on an apparently busy Presidents Day weekend. We drove a bit further to look at the Thunder Mountain Trailhead, but it was snowed in with no parking. We returned to the Meiss Meadow SNO-PARK, and grabbed one of the last spots. As we got ready to start our hike though, we noticed that most of the people in this lot were headed south in the opposite direction for a snow camping expedition. Maybe it wouldn’t be so crowded after all.

Snowshoeing Carson Pass

Before heading out, we applied Vaseline to the dogs paws. We had heard that this may help protect the paws from cold and abrasion; however, it really didn’t seem to do much for our dainty little dogs except help attract dirt and other debris.

Snowshoeing Carson Pass

The snow was packed and icy, and allowed our dogs to freely explore the snowy landscape. This is a big deal when you legs are only 5-6 inches long. These dogs would disappear in powder conditions.  They were loving it.

Snowshoeing Carson Pass

The Chihuahua was the first to fizzle out. Remarkably, she wasn’t frozen yet, but her pace slowed to a crawl. It was obvious the ice was too rough on her paws. She was the first to be scooped up and put inside a jacket.

Snowshoeing Carson Pass

Our other dog, a Brussels Griffon, is built a little better for the snow. Her paws are wide, almost like little snowshoes.

Carson Pass

We snowshoed north on the Pacific Crest Trail for a bit, then climbed to the ridge above Red Lake. The wind on the ridge dropped the temperature considerably, and appeared to sap the rest of the other dog’s energy. She looked freezing, despite her silly pink fleece jacket. She walked a bit past the windy ridge, but then it appeared that she too succumbed to sore paws. Into Kristy’s jacket she went.  I took the Chihuahua.

Snowshoeing Carson Pass

For the remainder of the hike, a little over 2 miles, the dogs were perfectly content to ride in our jackets, only coming out briefly to have a snack at lunch.  In spite of the busy parking lot, we didn’t see one other person the entire hike.  It turned out to be a great day.

Old Tree

When it comes to outdoor recreation, it’s a tough time of year for our dogs. They’re much better suited to the warm hiking trips of summer. But even though they had to be carried for half of this outing, I don’t think they’d have it any other way.


4 thoughts on “Snowshoeing with the Dogs

  1. Nice to see the snow still in such nice shape. We did Donner Pass/Boreal Sno Park snowshoe trip on Presidents weekend. A ZOO!!! Last weekend we did Chickadee Ridge on Tahoe Meadows. Very nice conditions. Still chasing the white stuff…this weekend we head to Echo Summit to Benwood Meadows. Hoping to find good snow.

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