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should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby MoSko » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:54 pm

We hiked Princeton with our pup and she did great. She's a boxer/rottie mix, and very agile and strong. I guess knowing your dog and its abilities helps. But we didn't find that there are any super challenging spots. IMHO, any large/medium sized dog should do find on Princeton.
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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby RosieTheSummiter » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:02 pm

Respectfully, no. I'm saying this only because I did Princeton a few weeks ago and the trail was not just bone dry but also very, very hot (hotter than I remember 14ers usually being in years past.) And quite literally, it's mostly talus. If you really want to take your dog on a nice hike, go somewhere like the Horn Fork Basin going up to Harvard where there is a lot of water along the first half (at least from what I recall last year), and maybe just take the dog only that far if you aren't needing a summit. If you need to summit, I say leave the dog home for this particular mountain.

You'll always see somebody's dogs getting to all these peaks that I and others say not to take your dog on, and they might actually do ok. But if given the choice on this one, I'd say this is overall not a dog-friendly mountain.

I appreciate that you would take the time to post your query to the forum in the interests of your dog - thank-you for doing this.
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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby somethingrandom » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:16 pm

Doable? Quite. Just dont let it s**t all over the trail please.

This didnt used to annoy me but I am finding more and more people just let their dog take care of business right on the trail and leave it. If you pick it up in front of your own house, pick it up off the trail.

It looks like others have mentioned you should also be mindful that your dog, no matter how much it loves you or for what reason, it probably doesnt want to be walking barefoot on 10 miles of scolding hot rock chasing you up a mountain. Booties if you do.

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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby JenGa » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:13 pm

+1

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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby scalba123 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:31 pm

Ask yourself this question...

...would you miss your dog if something tragic happened to it?

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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby zrsimpson » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:27 pm

To the original commentor's question: I took my 28-lb sheltie up Princeton a few weeks ago and she was fine. As another poster mentioned, though, you'll want to be very wary of water. If you walk up the road, there is little to no water for a dog to drink, and, once you reach the turn off for Mt. Princeton, there is no water whatsoever. I brought extra water and that helped. There are much more dog friendly 14ers, though, which offer better trail conditions and approaches for dogs.

(By the way, I grow tired of the endless string of negative comments about dogs on this site. I'm a dog owner and I completely agree with the previous posters regarding dog poop, taking care of your dog, etc. At altitude it degrades very slowly, if at all. I would also argue, though, that the same logic should apply to leaking cars, human feces, horse feces, wrappers, cutting trail, orange peels, etc. If you're going to be Jesuitical about dog feces, then apply the same rigor to yourself. And, if you're going to spend your time ranting about dogs, then write the Forest Service about practices which actually effect wildlife and wilderness much more deeply, like mountain bikes, grazing, horse traffic (they're the reason we have numerous invasive species), heavy human traffic, and roads. Maybe then I'll take your rhetoric about dogs more seriously.)

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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby LetsGoHigher » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:33 pm

zrsimpson wrote:To the original commentor's question: I took my 28-lb sheltie up Princeton a few weeks ago and she was fine. As another poster mentioned, though, you'll want to be very wary of water. If you walk up the road, there is little to no water for a dog to drink, and, once you reach the turn off for Mt. Princeton, there is no water whatsoever. I brought extra water and that helped. There are much more dog friendly 14ers, though, which offer better trail conditions and approaches for dogs.

(By the way, I grow tired of the endless string of negative comments about dogs on this site. I'm a dog owner and I completely agree with the previous posters regarding dog poop, taking care of your dog, etc. At altitude it degrades very slowly, if at all. I would also argue, though, that the same logic should apply to leaking cars, human feces, horse feces, wrappers, cutting trail, orange peels, etc. If you're going to be Jesuitical about dog feces, then apply the same rigor to yourself. And, if you're going to spend your time ranting about dogs, then write the Forest Service about practices which actually effect wildlife and wilderness much more deeply, like mountain bikes, grazing, horse traffic (they're the reason we have numerous invasive species), heavy human traffic, and roads. Maybe then I'll take your rhetoric about dogs more seriously.)


Amen!
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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby highpilgrim » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:51 pm

zrsimpson,

Using the justification that horses, bikes and humans are equally destructive to the climbing experience as your dog doesn't get you off the hook; many people don't enjoy sharing the mountain with unleashed and poorly controlled dogs. I love dogs but have had a number of bad experiences with lame dog owners who subject their dogs to unnecessary risk and are unable or unwilling to control their pets to the dimunition of my and others experience in the backcountry.

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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:25 pm

This thread has ADD...I'm getting whiplash from all of the changes in direction.

But let's rehash some issues...

-Have your dog on a leash and under control.
-Pick up after your dog and yourself.
-Princeton is rocky, but your dog won't be kicking rocks on people. Rocks on the standard route of Princeton only roll about two feet and stop. So don't worry about that. Worry more about crazy Indiana hikers who can't figure out how to get down off a mountain that has a freakin' ROAD up it. :roll:
-If your dog will wear booties, then booties are great. If your dog has conditioned paws (i.e., a nice callous built up on the pad), then booties may not be needed. My dog had very tough feet because we did a lot of trail running and she refused to wear those silly looking booties. She climbed 27 14ers with me, including Princeton and other rocky ones like Lindsey, Columbia, Harvard, Missouri, ShavTab, etc., and never had a foot problem once.

If your dog has soft feet though, booties are probably a must.
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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby JsinDeAZ » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:40 pm

this thread is ticking me off... Why? because what you're doing is asking for permission on a volatile issue. are you gonna not take your dog 'cause it irritates some people? well, that should be good enough. people tend to go to the hills to get away... you're gonna do what you want anyway, right? me, personally, i'd take my dogs camping, to the lake, etc, etc... not a 14er hike. & don't get me f'n wrong, i love my dogs. but i also appreciate the beauty that is a 14er. understanding that sanctity, why put other people out just 'cause you want to say your dog did it too? go hike a 13er... there's plenty of them and they don't carry the same negative connotation of a dog on a 14er ](*,) this whole thread
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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby zrsimpson » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:29 pm

highpilgrim wrote:zrsimpson,

Using the justification that horses, bikes and humans are equally destructive to the climbing experience as your dog doesn't get you off the hook; many people don't enjoy sharing the mountain with unleashed and poorly controlled dogs. I love dogs but have had a number of bad experiences with lame dog owners who subject their dogs to unnecessary risk and are unable or unwilling to control their pets to the dimunition of my and others experience in the backcountry.


Just to clarify: I don't condone poorly controlled dogs on mountains (it was implied in my first statement but not explicit). My dog is under voice command and I carry a leash. (She's also really good with children, other dogs, and people. Were this not the case, I wouldn't take her hiking.) Nor do I think that dogs are "equally destructive" as livestock (even the Forest Service admits that they have significant riparian, water quality, and habitat impacts...all for $1.35 per month), vehicles (which require road maintenance, present noise issues, etc.), or even heavy human traffic. If the issue is human comfort, then the problem is not dogs, but the people that don't have adequate control over them.

I often don't enjoy "sharing" the mountain with certain other people, either (here's looking at you, guys who parked their 4-wheeler on my tent at Lake Como while I was hiking Blanca), but that's not a problem with people in general, just those who don't treat others with respect. I would argue that the same logic applies to dog owners as well.

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Re: should I bring my dog on Mt. Princeton?

Postby cheeseburglar » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:33 pm

Our Siberian Husky/Lab mix has done 5 13ers this year and a high 12er.
But Princeton is probably a zoo with all kinds of people on it, even in late September.
If you can take the dog for a jog in the park without it going crazy and biting people or their dogs, you should be fine.
I've noticed a lot of people whining on this web site about dogs. But everyone we meet in person either walks on by or loves our dog.
If your dog jogs occasionally with you on hard surface it shouldn't have a problem with the feet. They'll build some serious calluses. Our little dog actually had a callus fall off yesterday.
Our husky drinks a lot of water, bring some extra.
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