The Best Dog Friendly Hiking In Utah
Are you tired of all the amazing hikes that ban your best 4-legged friend? There are a lot of them out there to be sure. Hiking is always better when you can bring you dog along for the adventure, but unfortunately not everyone sees it that way. That’s exactly why I wanted to give you a great hike that is welcoming to everyone AND their dog.
Here in Utah we have this perfect hiking town called Moab. In Moab they have a ton of amazing trails to hike. Some that lead you to beautiful landmarks and some just for fun! Some will test your physical ability while other hikes are as easy as a walk in the park. They do have trails that are dedicated to humans only, but many others that are pet-friendly! So, whether you want to go with with a group of friends, or take your favorite furry friend, Moab has got what you are looking for!
This last weekend my Fiancé and I went down to a well-known hikers spot in Moab, Utah. The best part about the trip was being able to take both of our German Shepherds! They have so much energy and it was a great way to tire them out!
The Journey To Hunters Canyon
In preparation for our trip, we planned what trails we would do, so that we could get there and immediately know which ones were pet-friendly. We had decided on the trail called Hunters Canyon, not only for its fun pet atmosphere, but because it looked like the most beautiful one. The morning of, we stopped at Wal-Mart to grab a last minute necessity. Any guesses? It was a portable water bowl for the dogs! One that was light and collapsible. Dogs need to drink just as much as you do after all.
Finally, after a long search we found the legendary dollar-fifty portable water bowl! Success! Plus we found a few snacks for ourselves too. Okay maybe it was more than just a few, but either way, we were ready to rumble!
We attempted to start our journey early in the morning, but because of Wal-Mart we left around noon. From where we live in Utah, it’s about a 3 and a half hour drive. When we started out the dogs were incredibly restless! Much to their disappointment, they realized the car ride would not be taking them to the park, but to some far away land. They may never see a life outside the car again. Much to our enjoyment, they settled down with grim looks on their faces and went to sleep.
This is where having an RV would have been perfect! The dogs and we would have had greater space instead of being smashed in our tiny car. Not only that but then we could’ve stayed the night in Moab as well. There’s plenty of room for parking RV’s and trailers in the campgrounds located by Hunters Canyon. One in particular is called Kane Springs Campground.
When we finally reached Moab, we realized we didn’t bring sun block with us and it was supposed to be relatively warm. We called some shops in the downtown location and found one called Desert Dreams that said they welcomed dogs! Not only were we able to purchase good-looking hats, but ours dogs got a taste of what it was like to go shopping!
After Desert Dreams we were FINALLY on our way to the hiking trail head! From Highway 191 you would take Kane Creek Boulevard heading west for approximately 7.5 miles until you reach the Hunters Canyon Trail head. On your way to Hunters Canyon you drive along the Colorado River. It’s beautiful but be careful, the narrow dirt roads aren’t meant for joy riding at 70 miles an hour.
Hunter Canyon Trail Head
At the trail head make sure you stop to use the restroom before you start your 4 hour trek into Hunters Canyon. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere to wash your hands… so don’t forget the hand sanitizer! Sun block would most definitely be a good thing to put on beforehand and bring lots and lots of water too. We carried a water bottle for us, and then a gallon so we could have refills and the dogs could drink too. Of course there is a stream that follows the trail, but you can never know what might be in that water.
The trail itself has a lot of off shoots and different ways you can go if you aren’t paying attention. We found that previous hikers had placed rocks in line formation to let others know that they were headed in the right direction. Nice people right? Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that until we were halfway done with the hike.
Hunters Canyon is a gorgeous trail to hike, but for those of you who are beginners and have beginner dogs with you, this hike does leave you out of breath! The trail is supposed to lead you to an arch. Most hikers find the arch. We did not find the so called “arch.” Instead, we just kept hoping that it would be “around the next bend!” After a couple of those bends we got a little disappointed and turned around. We ended up going an extra hour out of our way in fact! There is a log book part way up that tells you exactly where to look for the arch, which is about a mile up on the right hand side. Unfortunately, we didn’t read that until we were headed out. So, to say we were completely prepared for this hike would have been a lie.
The Dogs Loved It
Our dogs absolutely LOVED the hike. We have one very adventurous, outgoing German shepherd, and one who loves to be inside with people all day. The inside dog impressed us with his leaping from rock to rock, dodging the stream wherever possible, and making sure us humans were in sight at all times. Our adventurous dog was swimming through the streams, blazing a path before us, and pushing us out of the way if we got in front of him at any time. He kept us moving!
When we had finally decided to turn back, the dogs lead us right back to the beginning of the trail. Their noses are incredible! Sometimes we weren’t even sure if we were taking the right paths because there are a couple options, but they made sure we came out the way we came in!
We absolutely had a blast at Hunters Canyon in Moab, Utah. It was so much fun to see other fellow hikers with their dogs and dogs running around the camps. Whether you have an RV, Trailer, Toy-hauler, or a tiny Chevy Impala, this is definitely a place you have to visit. Take a few hikes. Go back and camp. Make memories that are unforgettable. We definitely plan on going back to Moab, in the near future. Thank you Utah, for being so B-UTAH-FUL!
Something A Little Extra
Though hiking is great, just a few hours isn’t enough time to explore them all. That’s why you need a base camp. A place where you can stay overnight and then get back to the trails the next day. What you need is a home away from home. So, check out these fantastic off road campers! https://www.rvsofamerica.com/inventory/?swoof=1&product_cat=in-stock
And here are some awesome off road videos: https://www.youtube.com/@ROAOffRoad