There is no shortage of dog friendly hikes Utah has to offer, whether you prefer the mountainous landscape of Salt Lake City or the jaw-dropping canyons of Moab.
Throw on your hiking boots, grab your leash, and hit the road! We’ve tried and tested the 15 best dog-friendly hikes throughout Utah.
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Is Utah Dog-Friendly?
Utah is very dog-friendly if you know where to look! While it does take a little bit of digging around to find the best dog-friendly places in Utah, they’re well worth the search.
What Are the Rules for Dogs in Utah’s National and State Parks?
Like most other states, Utah has strict rules for dogs visiting its national and state parks. Don’t let that put you off of a hiking trip in Utah, however. There are still multiple amazing dog-friendly hikes to uncover!
Unlike in many other states, Utah allows dogs on what seems to be a majority of their trails!
While rules surrounding leashing, leaving no waste, and respecting other trail users are heavily regulated, these won’t hinder many respectful dog owners in any way. We’ll touch on each trail’s guidelines as we go along.
Dog-Friendly Hikes Salt Lake City
1. Grandeur Peak East Trail
If you’ve come to Utah looking for a challenge, Grandeur Peak East Trail is perfect for you! Steep yet achievable, this is one of Utah’s most popular trails.
This dog-friendly hike near Salt Lake City is almost six miles return. It takes you to the summit, with amazing 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape.
In the summer, this trail can get very hot, as the trees towards the peak are much smaller than those at the base. In winter, however, you’re likely to come across some snow around the summit!
Grandeur Peak is very busy. For a more peaceful experience, I would recommend heading in early for a quieter experience. It’s a beautiful sunrise spot, too, so why not make the most of those early hours?
Dogs are always permitted on this trail. One thing to keep in mind while planning your hike is that leash requirements vary.
Dogs are permitted off-leash on odd-numbered days and must be leashed on even-numbered days. If your pooch does not like unleashed dogs, it may be best to avoid the allowed off-leash days
2. Mill Creek Pipeline Trail
If you’re looking for a longer trek, then Mill Creek is perfect for you! At 13 miles return, you and your pooch will surely get in your steps for the day.
The Mill Creek Pipeline Trail is well-maintained, only 18 minutes from the heart of Salt Lake City.
Although the trail is mostly shaded, it can still get quite hot, so top up your water supplies! I always recommend carrying more than you think you’ll need and that’s especially true for a hike of this length.
If you do get desperate, however, Church Fork, at the beginning of the trail, is a great place for your pooch to stop and have a drink.
Mill Creek is frequented by everyone from trail runners and dog walkers to mountain bikers and horse riders.
It’s a relatively wide trail, so you don’t need to be too concerned about keeping your dog tightly constricted to one side of the path. Just use your usual level of mindfulness, and you should be all set!
Like many Utah trails, dogs must be leashed on even-numbered days but can be let off on odd-numbered days.
3. Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
As its name suggests, Miners Trail follows an old mining path and opens out into the now-abandoned Pinecraft Mine.
It’s about 5 miles return and hikes can continue along a little further than that, chasing some amazing views of Upper Red Butte Canyon.
The old mine entrance itself is pretty fascinating if you’re a bit of a history buff. While it is closed off, it’s still quite visible and definitely worth a stop.
You’ll also wind your way through a number of different landscapes and see some amazing horticultural features native to Utah.
It’s important to note that depending on the time of year, this trail can get hot. It has very minimal shade in some sections and only a few small freshwater sources, so please be prepared.
A majority of the trail is gravel so you may also be well off packing some protective booties for your pup.
Sections of this trail also weave through hunting areas, so check your dates carefully and pack safety gear when necessary. You don’t want you or your dog to be mistaken for game!
4. Memory Grove Trail
Looking for something a little closer to the city center?
The Memory Grove Trail runs through Memory Grove Park in Salt Lake City, just across from the East Senate Building and Memorial House.
It’s a very mild 1.6-mile walk that’s perfect for all family members. Most of the trail is paved, and although there are some steeper sections, it’s accessible for people and dogs of all fitness levels.
While pooches must be leashed throughout the park, there is a fantastic off-leash area towards its northern end.
5. City Creek Canyon
After visiting Memory Grove, why not try exploring City Creek Canyon?
You’ll find the entrance to this trail inside Memory Grove Park, making it a great extension of the Memory Grove Trail if you’re hoping to extend your adventure.
This hike is 11.8 miles return and is accessible year-round. The trail is paved and clear, although not well-suited for wheelchairs or strollers.
Starting your hike, you’ll quickly clear the cityscape and begin your ascent into the quiet mountains surrounding Salt Lake City.
This is a popular trail (possibly Salt Lake City’s most traversed), so remain aware of your surroundings and make way for pedestrians and cyclists.
Dogs are always welcome but must remain leashed. Your pooch will love this wide and shady trail, which often crosses paths with the surrounding creeks for a fresh drink of water.
You’ll love all of the amazing viewpoints and seasonal landscapes. Choose between lush greenery in the spring or the amazing colors of fall in the cooler months.
6. Dog Lake/Big Water Trail
Only 36 minutes from the heart of Salt Lake City, Dog Lake is a puppy paradise. It can be reached via the Big Water Trail, which is a simple 5.3-mile return hike running through the gorgeous surrounding landscape.
You’ll see breathtaking wildflowers in the spring, vibrant oranges in the fall, and snow in the winter. Remain alert if you’re tackling this hike in the cooler months, however.
Dog Lake is located in the avalanche country. Check your weather warnings carefully and pack plenty of supplies.
While gorgeous, the trailhead has an abysmal parking set-up. Weekdays aren’t too competitive, and although they are still busy, weekends are a nightmare. Be up early to secure your spot.
Dogs are permitted off-leash on odd-numbered days only along Big Water Trail. On even-numbered days, mountain bikers have their turn, so weigh your dates carefully when deciding when to go.
The trail can be quite narrow, so if your dog is not too averse to off-leash dogs, I recommend visiting on an off day.
Dog-Friendly Hikes Moab
7. Hunter Canyon Trail
Short and sweet, the Hunter Canyon Trail is only 3 miles return. Wind your way through spectacular natural landscapes, creek crossings, and Utah’s signature sandstone cliffs.
Hunter Canyon is a simple dirt track with little foot traffic and not much elevation change. It’s a great choice for older dogs, small dogs or dogs with mobility issues, as you can easily turn back at any time.
The main highlight of the hike is the breathtaking Hunter Arch, which you’ll pass under after about 0.5 miles.
Be aware of flash flooding through July and August, as rainfall can come quickly and heavily without much warning.
Keep an eye out for horses, too, as this is a popular riding trail. Stick to your side of the trail and ensure your dog remains at a safe distance.
8. Moab Rim Trail
One of the more popular dog-friendly hikes in Moab, the Moab Rim Trail is made for explorers.
This trail is 7.7 miles return and is recommended for experienced hikers.
It’s also a shared 4×4 track, so you’ll need to remain alert, particularly on weekends. If your pup is easily spooked by cars, this might not be your spot.
If you and your dog are up for a challenge, however, you’ll be amazed by this trail as it winds through one of the most dog-friendly canyons in Utah.
Follow the 4×4 track to awe-inspiring views of the surrounding Moab Valley. You’ll also catch panoramic views of the LaSal Mountains and nearby Arches National Park!
9. Mill Creek Trail
Maybe you’re looking for something a little more simple. Don’t worry; Moab is still the place for you!
The Mill Creek Trail is only 1.8 miles return and is a popular mid-range hike.
Immerse yourself in the towering red rocks of Moab before taking a dip in one of the many waterfalls nestled throughout the canyon.
While there are plenty of creek crossings to explore, the trail is relatively flat and simple. This trail’s length and simplicity make it a great spot for older dogs and pups who love to make a splash!
10. Portal Overlook
Portal Overlook is about a 5.8-mile round trip and offers up plenty of beautiful views.
You’ll be able to spot some of Moab’s best with the Colorado River, LaSal Mountains, and Arches National Park, all just beyond your fingers.
This trail is pretty exposed and heats up quickly during the day. Because of its elevation, however, hikers are rewarded with an amazing breeze.
Still, pack plenty of water and consider some booties for your pup.
You’ll find the Portal Overlook trailhead only 48 minutes from the heart of Moab, making it a great day trip for you and your pooch.
The road itself is beautiful, and even if you don’t plan on completing the hike, I would still recommend a scenic drive, at the very least.
Dog-Friendly Hikes St George
11. Virgin River and Cottonwood Wash Trail
If you’re staying in St George, then the Virgin River and Cottonwood Wash trail is almost directly on your doorstep! Over 3.8 miles, this simple paved trail will take you from the city into the signature Utah landscape.
This hike is one of my favorites if you want to get your blood pumping without venturing too far into the wilderness.
Up and down, you and your pup will venture, with the hike gradually increasing and dropping in elevation all the way along.
Despite its slopes, however, I would still recommend this hike for older dogs. You can easily turn around at any point and still feel like you’ve had a fantastic taste of St George’s natural beauty.
Dogs must remain leashed on this trail as it is a paved path shared with mountain bikers. They can gain some speed along here, so be sure to stick to your side of the trail.
12. Elephant Arch
Tucked away just outside of Washing, St George, you’ll find Elephant Arch.
This sandy hike is 3.8 miles return and ends near the appropriately named natural monument, Elephant Arch.
This towering red formation looks almost like an elephant, right down to the soft eyes and long trunk. It’s surreal and a must-see while in Utah.
Apart from the natural elephant trunk, you’ll also find plenty of real flora and fauna along your trek. Keep your eyes peeled for desert tortoises and snakes! Both are very common in this area.
This trail is predominantly made up of dirt and can be very soft in some sections. I wouldn’t recommend this as a first choice if you or your pooch had mobility issues.
13. Babylon Arch
Hoping to pair your dog-friendly hiking in St George with some 4x4ing? I have two words for you: Babylon Arch.
The Babylon Arch trailhead is only 30 minutes from the city’s heart, but it couldn’t feel any further away.
This trailhead is remote and best accessed by a high clearance 4WD that you’re happy to get dusty.
Your reward? A gorgeous view of the Babylon Arch and sandy trails that your dog will love to play on.
The added difficulty of the sandy path is a nice bonus, as it is a great way to tire out even the most energetic of dogs.
This trail has almost no shade except for under the arch itself. Bring plenty of water and try to arrive early when possible.
14. Aspiration Trail
This unique trail is lined with beautifully painted rocks – you can even leave your own!
If you have both your two-legged and four-legged kids along for the hike, then the Aspiration Trail is a must.
At only 1.4 miles return, this is a relatively simple track for any pup. However, it can be steep and twisty in places, so I would be prepared to carry an older dog in some parts.
While this hike is short in length, be sure to leave yourself time to stop and appreciate the rock art. You’ll find everything from love notes and art pieces to jokes and fun historical facts.
While your dog likely won’t appreciate the art, think of all the different scents those rocks would carry!
15. Children’s Forest at the Kiln
Children’s Forest at the Kiln is perfect for children of any species! At only 0.6 miles long, this loop is stroller friendly and the perfect length for a puppy just beginning to hike.
You could even bring an older dog along in their wagon.
Along the route, you’ll spot plenty of native flora before reaching the Kiln at the trail’s end.
Once you’re finished, head back to explore the little wooden bridge or pack a dog-friendly picnic basket and settle in at one of the tables for a sandwich and a bone.
While some trails may not be completely paw-fect, Utah is undoubtedly one of the easier states to explore with your dog, in my experience.
So, what are you waiting for? We’ve done the work, and now it’s time to get up and go!
If having so many choices has left you feeling stuck on where to start, why not pop these fifteen awesome dog-friendly hikes in Utah in a bucket and draw one out at random?