Best Dog Friendly Camping In Utah

The state of Utah is well known for its world-class camping. It’s something everyone (and their dog) should experience so we’ve rounded up some of the best dog friendly camping spots in Utah. 

Before you head out on your adventure, there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to camping safely with your pup. 

  • Always pack a pet first aid kit. We love this one.
  • Bring a long leash and a tie down. This will be helpful if your dog tends to wander off, the tie-down will keep them close to camp while still giving them some freedom to explore. 
  • Dog sleeping pad/bag (or even a human one). Make sure you have enough sleeping bags or blankets, it tends to get pretty cold at night. Click here for one of our faves.
  • Plenty of fresh, clean water. A lot of camping destinations in Utah are considered desert landscapes, meaning there won’t be much water and it can get pretty hot, so make sure you have plenty of water to keep your dog (and yourself) well hydrated. 

If you plan to head out to one of Utah’s desert destinations in the warmer months, consider taking a cooling vest (like the one below). Dogs are much more susceptible to heat stroke than humans are. Another option to help your dog stay cool and comfortable is a raised cot or a cooling pad, this doubles as a place for your dog to lounge after a fun day in the wilderness. 

We broke this list into two parts – desert camping and mountain camping, so there is a little something for every type of adventure. In this article, both established campgrounds (you reserve a spot and there is usually an outhouse and water) and dispersed camping, which is free but there are no accommodations and it’s typically more out of the way are discussed.

Best Dog Friendly Desert Camping In Utah

Grand Staircase / Escalante 

We like to think of the Grand Staircase/Escalante area as a dog friendly Zion National Park. It is a stunning desert landscape with quite a few water-feature hikes that mirror the landscapes you can find in Zion, without the massive crowds. 

Dogs are welcome in both the Dixie National Forest, Grand Staircase National Monument and the Red Canyon area, giving you plenty of options for state-run campgrounds. There are two options for camping in the national monument, Calf Creek Recreation Area campground, which is the larger of the two and Deer Creek. Both campgrounds require pets to be on a leash around the campground.

If you’re looking to rough it a little more, Hole In The Rock Road offers a lot of dispersed camping sites on BLM land. While there are no amenities, it’s great if you want to get a little further away from other people recreating the area. And, it’s free! 

While you’re in Grand Staircase, you have to check out the Lower Calf Creek Falls hike with your dog. It’s spectacular.

Lower Calf Creek Falls

Red Canyon Campground Near Cedar Breaks

The Red Canyon campground in Dixie National Forest is close to Cedar City. It’s a little higher elevation than other Southern Utah favorites, making the landscape pretty unique. 

The trails in the area all welcome dogs kept on a leash. The 4-mile “rim hike” takes you around the rim of the Red Canyon. It offers gorgeous views and is suitable for beginners.

Fisher Towers Near Moab & Arches National Park

While Arches National Park isn’t very dog friendly, there are a few places around the Moab area that are perfect for a camping trip with your pup. One of the best is Fisher Towers campground. It’s about a 40-minute drive from the city of Moab, but well worth the trek. 

There is a great hiking trail to the namesake, Fisher Towers right out of the campground that on-leash dogs are able to use. This is a hot spot for rock climbers.

Deadhorse State Park is another dog-friendly area near Moab. The best place to camp if you’re looking to explore that area are Kayenta and Wingate Campgrounds at Dead Horse State Park. This area overlooks the Colorado River from 2,000 feet above and the campsites are high in demand. Click HERE for pricing and availability. 

Check out our comprehensive dog friendly Moab travel guide here.

Photo courtesy of Carling Edgcomb

Goblin Valley State Park and Campground

Goblin Valley State Park will make you feel like you’ve traveled to Mars, a dog friendly Mars. It is a great spot if you’re looking to see some of the crazy rock formations Utah is famous for without the national park rules and crowds. 

This is the only established campground in the area, so reservations can fill up fast. Check here for availability.

Photo courtesy of Utah DNR

Sand Hollow State Park and Campground

So you want Utah’s famous red rock desert landscape, but you also want a lake for you and your dog to cool off and play in? Sand Hollow is the perfect combination. Located outside of Hurricane, Utah, Sand Hollow is a pretty lake with an accompanying campground. It’s a popular spot for water recreators and OHV fanatics.

It’s getting more and more popular each year, so make sure you check for availability.

Best Dog Friendly Mountain Camping In Utah

Smith & Morehouse Reservoir 

Located about an hour out of Salt Lake on the Western side of the Uinta Mountains, you’ll find the idyllic Smith & Morehouse reservoir with an accompanying campground. This is the perfect spot to take your dog if they love swimming, paddle boarding and hanging at the lake. 

There is also a gorgeous hiking trail and excellent fly fishing in the area. It’s a great spot to escape the heat of Salt Lake City during the late summer months. You can check here for campsite availability. 

Photo courtesy of

Mustang Ridge Campground at Flaming Gorge

The Flaming Gorge National Recreation area is a hidden gem for Utah dog owners. We could write an entire travel guide on the area (wink), but for now, we’ll tell you where to camp.

The Flaming Gorge Reservoir is the prime gem of the area, so if you want to get in as much lake time as possible, camp at Mustang Ridge Campground, it sits right on the lake and is perfect for dogs who can’t seem to get enough swimming. It’s also a great area for paddle boarding. 

Another option for camping near the lake is Cedar Springs Campground, though it’s a little more of a trek to actually get there.

Mirror Lake in the Uinta Mountains

Mirror Lake is the perfect late-summer (snow doesn’t typically melt until the end of June) destination camping spot for you and your best pal. Located in the Uinta mountain range along the Mirror Lake Scenic byway, you’ll find not only Mirror Lake, but a bunch of other high alpine lakes to explore. There is an established campground at Mirror Lake, you can check availability here.

This area is popular for hikers, paddle boarders and fishermen. Across the street from the campground, you’ll find the Lofty Lakes Loop hike which is one of the best hikes in the area.

Bridger Campground in Logan Canyon

We’ve given you some lakes, now how about a river? If you haven’t traveled through Northern Utah, specifically in Logan Canyon, you must. It’s one of Utah’s underrated spots. Bridger Campground is a great way to explore the area, as it sits on the Logan River (which is a great spot for your dog to cool off) and along the Logan Canyon Scenic byway. 

It is very shady and will be a nice escape from the heat of the city. Check for reservations and pricing here.

Another great campground in the Logan area is Friendship Campground in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. It’s a little more off the beaten path but a great area for hiking, fishing and just chilling with your dog.

Browne Lake Campground in Ashley National Forest 

If you’re really looking to get away from the crowds, Browne Lake is for you. A gorgeous little high alpine lake, it is perfect for fishing and letting your dog splash around for as long as they want. There is a great hiking trail right out of the campground. 

If you drive around this area of the national forest, you’ll find lots of other lakes and hiking trails to explore. Another option for camping in this area is Spirit Lake, it is slightly higher in elevation, but still a perfect late-summer destination.

Photo courtesy of Flaming Gorge Office Of Tourism

The state of Utah has so many incredible, dog-friendly places to camp but we chose these because they are the most dog friendly and have nearby activities dogs enjoy. If you have a favorite campground we should add to the list, send us a DM on Instagram and let us know.

This post may contain affiliate links which result in Dog Friendly SLC making a small commission. By shopping products we recommend, you ensure that we can keep finding dog friendly places in Salt Lake City and Utah. We appreciate your support!