Dog-Friendly Travel Tips for the Southwest
Southwestern destinations for you and your pup.
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There’s always something fun for you and your dog to do in the southwest. Explore trails, watch your pup delight in all the fresh smells, and visit unique eateries and the best dog parks. From cabins in Oklahoma’s San Bois Mountains to Arizona’s “Christmas City,” we know some of the best stomping spots for dogs in the southwest.
One of the best places in the southwest to visit is the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in Kanab, Utah. In this volunteer vacation, you’ll spend your days feeding, cleaning, walking, and playing with all the amazing animals waiting to be adopted. Beyond dogs, the shelter is home to goats, pigs, bunnies, and other animals too. If you can’t volunteer, consider taking a tour of their facilities.
An excellent home base for dog-friendly fun is Red Mountain Resort in St. George, Utah, just a two-hour drive from Las Vegas, Nev. The adobe-style resort and spa offers a full complement of dog-centric amenities — among them, organic treats and food and water dishes upon arrival — plus a 55-acre backyard and access to Snow Canyon Park, where pups can bound under towering red-rock cliffs. (Remember to carry water and keep an eye out for rattlesnakes). Because most of Utah’s national parks, including nearby Zion, have few or no trails open to pets, hiking in and around the resort is a great way to experience this region’s jaw-dropping beauty without the strict prohibitions and the crowds.
Over in Aspen, head over to the Lost Man Trail for a wonderful pet-friendly experience. This beautiful trail passes through scenic valleys and stunning lakes and is great for serious hikers. After the hike, head on back to town, and you’ll find one of the most dog-friendly cities in Colorado. Over in the ski areas, take a scenic ride with your pup on one of the dog-friendly gondolas.
Vail is known for its stunning scenery and miles of dog-friendly trails. The Rocky Mountains around Vail, Colo., come alive in fall with glorious views of golden aspen trees. Book a stay at the Antlers at Vail hotel, a dog-welcoming and noted “Green Business,” which offers stays in condominium suites complete with kitchens, fireplaces, and spacious amenities. A couple of good dog treks include ones to Wheeler and Pitkins Lakes.
In the Spring, the Turkey Creek Tail in Austin, Texas, is a doggy paradise. With wildflowers in bloom and the nearby creek, it’s the perfect place for an easy hike and a picnic. After a hike, head on over to the Little Nell dog-friendly hotel that accepts dogs of any size.
For pup-friendly hiking in Oklahoma, head on over to Robbers Cave State Park. It’s 25 miles of hiking trails in the San Bois Mountains. There are 189 acres of lakes for boating and hiking, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and their pups. For easy access to the park, stay in one of several comfortable pet-friendly cabins.
In Prescott, Arizona, this dog-friendly town features a large dog park and numerous dog-friendly trails in forested areas for hiking. It’s also known as Arizona’s Christmas City, so it’s the perfect city to celebrate the season with your furry friend.
Historic downtown Flagstaff is another pet-friendly destination and home of Northern Arizona University. Near the NAU campus, walk the expansive grounds of Riordan Mansion State Historic Park or visit the trailhead near the Lowell Observatory. Stop for a bite to eat at the popular Diablo Burger or the Toasted Owl Café for dog-friendly patio seating.
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Daniela Lopez is a digital media specialist and long-time contributor to The Bark.