If you plan to camp in Utah, you might have considered bringing along your dog to keep you company or to share the fun. Camping with dogs has many documented health benefits, both physical and mental.
Utah is home to 5 national parks and more than 40 state parks
, many of which have dog-friendly camping spots. With rolling deserts, vast open spaces, and natural wonders as far as the eye can see, you can enjoy Utah with your four-legged friend for an adventure to remember.
Let’s explore where you can camp with your dog, rules for both state and national parks in Utah if you plan on bringing your pup, and how to make camping with Fido a paw-some adventure to remember.
Benefits of Camping with Your Dog
Camping outdoors has many benefits for both you and your dog. It’s a great activity for training, bonding, and playing. The biggest benefit to camping for your dog is the amount of exercise they get. Anyone who has gone camping understands how rigorous outdoor activities can be. Dogs who are mostly kept inside can work off a few extra pounds they may have put on during the winter.
Another great benefit to bringing your dog along on a camping trip is protection. Utah is home to many large animals like deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and three types of big cats. Having your dog close by serves as an alert system, and possibly physical protection in the event you find yourself near one of these large animals.
Camping in the Utah desert
can be an excellent bonding experience for you and your dog. With only each other to rely on in the relatively sparse parklands, you and your dog will create a bonded, trusting relationship that just doesn’t come as easily sitting at home with one another.
Camping with Dogs in Utah National Parks
Utah is home to 5 national parks with more than 2 million public acres to explore. Arches and Canyonlands national parks both offer unique experiences for those that are camping with their dogs.
You can enjoy water-rich hikes on the Mary Jane Canyon trail. The trail winds through a dry river bed before ending at a gorgeous double waterfall which makes it a perfect spot during a hot summer day.
At Manti-La Sal National Forest
there isn’t a single trail that is off-limits for dogs. Because of this very dog-friendly location, many campers enjoy this area specifically with their pups. While some trails, like the Clark Lake Trail, allow for dogs to be off-leash, they are required to be on leashes in the campground areas.
Three Peaks Recreation area located in Zion National Park is another fantastic camping location if you are looking to allow your dog off-leash. Some trails in this campground do not permit off-leash dogs, but many do. There have been reports of dogs getting caught in wildlife traps in this park, so if you plan to allow your dog off-leash, be sure to keep a close watch on them.
Dog-Friendly Camping in Utah State Parks
With 43 state parks in total, Utah is home to some of the most dog-friendly state campgrounds west of the Mississippi. Only 3 of their 43 parks have restrictions on dogs on the land.
Jordanelle State Park
has been consistently the top-rated state park for dog-friendly camping in Utah. With 3 separate camping areas, there is plenty of space for you and your four-legged friends to enjoy the more than 3,000 acres of cool water, perfect for any hot day.
Rules and Regulations for Camping with Dogs in Utah
Dogs are welcome in most of the national and state parks throughout Utah. There are several rules on the accompaniment of your dogs in the parks. Unless otherwise posted, all dogs must be on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet in length. This is for both your dog’s safety, as well as the safety of other guests.
Both national and state parks in Utah strongly advise against leaving your dog unattended for any period. There are big cats, elk, and black bears throughout Utah parklands that could injure your pet if left unattended.
Dogs visiting Utah parklands are required to be current on all of their vaccinations. Again, this is due to the influx of wildlife in the area. While it is unlikely to be faced with a rabid predator during your camping trip, it isn’t impossible.
Some state and national parks in Utah
provide camping lodges, yurts, teepees, and cabins that are available to rent. Dogs are not allowed at any of these types of campsites. The only exception is for service dogs as set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
What To Bring for Dog-Friendly Camping in Utah
If you plan on bringing your dog on a camping trip in Utah, you will need to pack specific items to ensure the health and safety of your pup. The very first thing you will want to bring is food and a lot of water. Utah, especially in the warm months, can feature suffocatingly hot, desert weather. Your dog will need extra water, just as you will, to stay hydrated.
Be sure to pack your pooch’s leashes, collars, ID tags, and any pertinent vaccine documents that you may need during your trip. Consider bringing a bed or something soft for your dog to sleep on, especially if you are tent camping instead of RV camping
. The ground can be unforgiving and after a long day of hiking, a soft place to sleep will be much welcomed.
Camping with your dog can be an amazing experience as long as you consider your pet’s needs along with your own. If you think you will be too hot or too cold, your dog most likely will be too. If you are hungry from a full day of hiking, your pup will be too. If you are having an amazing experience, chances are, your best friend is too.