Written by Alexa Boldt
Kayak at Alder Lake, Washington
There is always time for one more game of fetch. Alder Lake offers a busy ambiance of boaters, campers, swimmers and kayakers. With two boat launches, be ready to ride wakes on your kayak. The main launch is located near the entrance to the park and is accessible most of the year. The Rocky Point boat launch is located at the upper end of the lake and is usable when the reservoir is at higher elevations. If you want to beat the boating crowd and avoid traffic at a launch, turn off of highway 7 on Lillie Dale Road and park at a pullout on the right hand side.
I love kayaking with my miniature schnauzer, Picacho. A smooth experience out on the water was only possible because of his prior training and a lot of dog treats. I’m lucky that Picacho thinks individual pieces of dog food are just a great as a treat. Before hitting the water he practiced commands like hop in, stay, and okay let’s go! The two of us spent a hefty amount of time sitting in the kayak on the grass in our backyard wobbling from side to side, just for him to be completely comfortable staying in the kayak through turbulence. For our first time kayaking together at Alder Lake, I was hesitant with him in the back of the kayak while I made our first push into the water. In hopes that the training was worthwhile- it worked! We enjoyed hours on the bright blue water.
It is vital to keep safety in mind for an adventurous pup. After heavy research, these three tips for paddling with pups stood out:
- There is no question that while on the water your dog should always wear a lifejacket.
- Prepping your dog through training will make everyone’s life safer and easier.
- No leash attached while in the kayak. Be sure to have the leash on hand for when you’re on land.
Dog Paddling by Katie Mkye is a great additional resource. As for gear, Picacho wears an extra small Good2Go Flotation Vest from Petco, we love our bright red sit-in 10′ Pelican Maverick 100X (got a heck of a deal from Dick’s Sporting Goods), we paddle with the lightweight carbon-shaft 220cm. Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Posi-Lok from REI.
Do you take your dog out on the water? Where are some of your favorite spots and helpful pup paddling tricks?