Exploring The Mighty 5 With Your Dog

Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks are world-famous. From the Narrows in Zion National Park to the incredible geological formations in Capitol Reef, visiting the National Parks in Utah is probably on most people’s bucket list. But, can you bring your dog along with you to explore The Mighty Five? 

We are here to help you answer that question and plan your trip. But, before you dive in to our guide, you should know that dog friendly activities inside the parks are very limited. Don’t worry, we will include other activities near the Mighty Five so you and your dog can still make the most of your trip. 

Utah’s National Parks

Utah’s national parks offer an unparalleled adventure for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike, drawing visitors from around the globe. These parks, which include Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion, boast some of the most striking landscapes in the United States. The allure lies not only in their unique geological formations but also in the wide range of recreational activities they offer. Hiking through delicate arches, exploring deep canyons, and marveling at towering hoodoos become more than just activities; they’re transformative experiences. The diversity of ecosystems and the sheer beauty of the natural landscapes provide endless opportunities for exploration and discovery, making each visit memorable.

Map courtesy of National Parks Service

All of the parks would be considered either desert or high desert ecosystems, so it can get extremely hot in the summer, make sure to pack plenty of extra water on your trips. 

In this article, we will tell you a little about each park and their dog policies, because there won’t be many dog friendly activities in the parks, we will also include nearby hikes, hotels and more that are dog friendly. 

Utah’s national parks don’t offer much for dog friendliness because they are heavily protected wilderness areas. They do not want dogs causing damage to any of the land formations or harassing the wildlife you’re sure to find in the parks. 

Utah National Parks Pet Policies 

Zion National Park 

Zion National Park, nestled in southwestern Utah, is a majestic sanctuary of soaring sandstone cliffs and a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors ranging from deep reds to emerald greens. It’s renowned for its stunning hikes, such as the Narrows, which meanders through towering canyon walls, and Angel’s Landing, offering breathtaking panoramic views. The park’s diverse ecosystem supports a wide range of wildlife and plant species, making it a captivating destination for nature lovers, hikers, and photographers seeking to immerse themselves in its natural beauty and tranquility.

Is Zion National Park Dog Friendly?

While dogs are allowed to enter Zion National Park, we would not consider it very dog friendly. Dogs are not allowed in any of the wilderness areas in Zion National Park. They are also not allowed on shuttle buses or in any of the public buildings. To enter certain areas of the park, patrons must take a shuttle bus. 

All but one of the hiking trails in the park are off limits to dogs. The dog friendly trail is called the Pa’rus Trail; it begins at the Visitor Center. This trail is 3.2 miles and is an easy hike. 

Dog Friendly Stay Nearby

The Advenire In St. George

Pet fee: $75/night
Weight limit: 75 pounds
Pet limit: 2

The Advenire by Marriott is a luxury stay located in the heart of St. George. This hotel is Marriott’s autograph collection and has a great restaurant lounge called Wood Ash Rye located inside. 

St. George has plenty of other dog friendly hotels, check out our list of St. George dog friendly hotels here. 

Nearby Dog Friendly Hike/Park 

Snow Canyon State Park’s Whiptail Trail is an excellent alternative, offering 6 miles of pet-friendly paths through lava flows and sandstone cliffs, showcasing a different aspect of Utah’s diverse landscape.

Snow Canyon State Park has plenty of other dog friendly hikes and is an excellent alternative to visiting Zion National Park. The park is a stunning showcase of Navajo sandstone cliffs, volcanic cones, and ancient lava flows, set against a backdrop of strikingly colorful desert landscapes. 

Arches National Park 

Arches National Park, located in eastern Utah, is a striking landscape famed for its more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the iconic Delicate Arch, which has become a symbol of the state of Utah. The park’s unique geological formations, carved out over millions of years create a surreal and otherworldly landscape that captivates visitors. Beyond its arches, the park offers a plethora of trails that lead to spectacular vistas, towering spires, and balanced rocks, making it a premier destination for visitors seeking a combination of adventure and relaxation. 

Is Arches National Park Dog Friendly?

Dogs are not welcome on any of the trails in Arches National Park, but they are welcome in the campgrounds and in pullouts along the scenic drives (they must always be leashed). If you bring your dog camping in Arches, they must never be left unattended and owners are responsible for taking care of waste. Dogs and their owners are allowed to take walks along the roads and in parking lots as long as they are always kept on a leash. 

Dogs are not allowed in the visitor center or at any scenic overlooks in the park. Here is a complete list of the dog rules for Arches National Park.

Moab, Utah is the closest town to Arches (like, really close), you can check out dog friendly travel guide to find hotels and activities near Moab that are dog-friendly.

Nearby Dog Friendly Stay

Red Cliffs Lodge 

Pet fee: $50/night + $100 cleaning fee
Weight limit: None 
Pet limit: 2

Red Cliffs Lodge is a fabulously located dog friendly hotel on the Colorado River. This 3 star lodge has designated pet friendly rooms where you can bring your dog for $50 per night.

Nearby Dog Friendly Hike

Grandstaff Canyon Trail is just outside Moab, is a fantastic dog-friendly option. This 4-mile round trip trail leads to the impressive Morning Glory Natural Bridge, offering shade and creek access for cooling off on hot days.

Dead Horse State Park

Nearby Dog Friendly Park

All of Utah’s State Parks are dog friendly as is the case for Dead Horse, which allows leashed dogs in campgrounds and hiking only trails. This park is also home to Dead Horse Point, one of the most spectacular vistas in Moab, where viewings of sunrise and sunset are equally impressive.

Bryce Canyon National Park 

Bryce Canyon National Park is like stepping into another world. Picture this: a vast amphitheater filled with whimsical spires, known as hoodoos, glowing in shades of orange, pink, and white under the sun. It’s not just a park; it’s a playground for the imagination, where you can hike, stargaze, and soak in the breathtaking vistas. Truly, it’s nature’s art at its finest.

Is Bryce Canyon National Park Dog Friendly? 

Bryce Canyon National Park is slightly more dog friendly than Arches or Zion National Parks. Dogs are allowed on paved paths throughout the park and on the shared-use path. They are also allowed on a half mile section of the Rim Trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points. Pets must always be kept on a leash while enjoying the park. 

Nearby Dog Friendly Stay

Bryce Canyon Resort

Photo courtesy of Hotels.com

Pet fee: Yes, call for details
Weight limit: None 
Pet limit: 2

Located near Bryce Canyon National Park you’ll find Bryce Canyon Resort, a pet friendly cabin stay that is perfect for your outdoorsy adventure with your pup. The boast nearby walking trails and large rooms, making it perfect for pet owners.

Nearby Dog Friendly Hike 

Fairyland Loop Trail, while not inside Bryce Canyon, is close by in the Dixie National Forest. This 8-mile trek is more challenging but rewards you with similar breathtaking views of hoodoos and colorful rock formations, all without the park’s pet restrictions.

Nearby Dog Friendly Park

Kodachrome Basin State Park is like nature’s own art gallery, with its striking multi-colored rock formations and towering sandstone chimneys that seem to capture the light in just the right way. Tucked away just a short drive from Bryce Canyon, it’s a less crowded gem offering breathtaking trails and a peaceful escape into nature’s masterpiece. Perfect for those looking to explore the outdoors with their dog. 

Canyonlands National Park 

Canyonlands National Park is where the wild, untamed spirit of nature runs free. Imagine sprawling canyons carved by the Colorado River, towering mesas, and buttes that stretch out as far as the eye can see. It’s a place for adventurers at heart—whether you’re mountain biking the White Rim Road, navigating the rapids of the mighty rivers, or trekking to the Mesa Arch for that iconic sunrise photo. Every corner of Canyonlands is an adventurer’s dream.

Is Canyonlands National Park Dog Friendly?

Dogs are welcome on paved scenic drives and parking lots in Canyonlands. Pets are also welcome at Island In The Sky. Owners must keep dogs on a leash during their entire time in the park.

Nearby Dog Friendly Stay

Hyatt Place in Moab

Pet fee: $75 up to six nights
Weight limit: 50
Pet limit: 2

The Hyatt Place in Moab is a great homebase for your central Utah adventure, whether you are exploring Arches, Canyonlands or any of the nearby state parks. 

Nearby Dog Friendly Hike 

Photo courtesy of Discover Moab

Corona & Bowtie Arch Trail is a 2.4 mile out and back trail that is about 20 minutes outside of Moab.

You don’t have to go to Arches National Park to experience one of the incredible natural arches in the area! This is one of the busier hikes in Moab outside of the national parks so we would recommend getting here early.

Nearby Dog Friendly Park

Similar to Arches, Dead Horse is the closest state park to Canyonlands. Dead Horse State Park is a similar landscape to Canyonlands, featuring amazing river vistas and sheer cliffs. It’s worth a visit with your pup.

Capitol Reef National Park 

Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure tucked away in the heart of Utah’s desert. Picture this: towering cliffs, deep canyons, and a colorful panorama of sandstone formations that seem to glow in the sunlight. But it’s not just about the landscapes; Capitol Reef is steeped in history, from ancient petroglyphs etched by Native Americans to the historic orchards planted by early Mormon settlers. Whether you’re exploring the Waterpocket Fold—a nearly 100-mile long wrinkle on the earth’s surface—or picking fruit in the Fruita valley, Capitol Reef offers a unique blend of adventure and tranquility that’s hard to find anywhere else.

Is Capitol Reef National Park Dog Friendly?

Dogs aren’t allowed on most trails throughout Captiol Reef National Park, but they can enjoy the trail that runs between the Visitor Center and the Fruita Campground as long as they are kept on a leash. They are also welcome on the section of the Fremont River Trail between the campground and Hattie’s Field. Like other national parks, they are also allowed on paved roads and in parking lots.

Nearby Dog Friendly Stay

Rim Rock Inn

Pet Fee: $30/night
Weight Limit: None
Pet Limit: 2

Along Utah State Route 24 you’ll find Rim Rock Inn in Torrey, Utah. This small hotel is perfect for your Capitol Reef adventure. With an onsite restaurant and 10+ acres of land to explore with your dog, you won’t be disappointed.

Nearby Dog Friendly Hike 

The Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is an accessible alternative, leading to a beautiful waterfall. This 6-mile round trip hike offers a gentle walk through stunning desert and riparian scenery, perfect for a day out with your dog.

Nearby Dog Friendly Park

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, sprawling across south-central Utah, is a breathtaking showcase of natural beauty, geological wonders, and ancient history. It’s like stepping into another world, one where nature’s artistry is on full display. For adventurers and nature lovers, the park is a playground without parallel. Whether it’s hiking through its vast wilderness, canyoneering down its hidden slots, or simply marveling at the natural arches and bridges, the monument offers endless exploration with your dog.

If you’re still itching to explore the parts of Utah’s Mighty Five that are not dog friendly, check out Rover. You can book a sitter in nearby towns so your pup can be cared for while you get out there and explore.

We would love to see photos of your adventures, tag us on Instagram @dogfriendlyslc.

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