The Casual Hiker™

Trails, Tips, & Other Topics

Dog Friendly Trails February 10, 2013

City Overlook

At the top of City Overlook trail

If you have a dog, take him along. You know he wants to go.On “dog friendly” trails, I love to take my hiking buddy, Elvis, a natural-eared Doberman. I enjoy his companionship and clownish antics. Meanwhile, hiking exercises the 110-lb canine in a way that the neighborhood jaunt never can.

Being in Utah, a desert “where God don’t give water free,” most mountain canyons are closed to dogs to protect watersheds. The national parks also ban dogs on hiking trails. State parks are friendlier, with the exception of Deer Creek State Park and the Rock Cliff area at Jordanelle.

Leash laws vary. State parks require leashes at all times. Millcreek, one of the few dog-friendly canyons along the Wasatch Front, alternates days on leash requirements: leashes “off” on odd days, leashes “on” on even days.

City Overlook trail

City Overlook trail

Protocol for cleaning up after your dog involves carrying plastic bags (such as one from a grocery store), scooping up the offending matter, and tying off the bag to deposit in a trash receptacle. Some hikers, if returning along the same route, leave their baggies by the trail side to be retrieved later. If you do so, please remember the bag. We need to keep complaints from other trail users to a minimum, so we can continue to take our dogs along on the few trails open to them.On a side note, fleas and ticks are practically a non-issue in Utah. The dry weather and high altitude are less than ideal conditions for fleas. The ticks—which I’ve yet to encounter—apparently aren’t infected with Lyme disease. Lucky us!

If you’re looking for trails that both you and your dog can enjoy, check out:

  • Burch Hollow
  • City Overlook (via Desolation Trail)
  • City Overlook (via Rattlesnake Gulch and Pipeline Trails)
  • Dog Lake (via Big Water Trail)
  • Elbow Fork to Lamb’s Canyon
  • Elbow Fork to Mt. Aire
  • Grandeur Peak (via Church Fork)
  • Mt. Olympus
  • Neff’s Canyon
  • Pipeline
  • Scout Falls

(more links to come…)

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