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Friday, July 10, 2009

Touring Southern Utah's Parks - With A Dog

Many people want to bring pets as they explore the national parks in southern Utah. This article, from Silicon Valley, describes one couple's adventures as they visit five parks in a week's time, with their dog.

The national parks are owned by the people, but when it comes to dogs, they are notoriously unfriendly. This is going to require a bit of ingenuity.

After setting up camp at dog-friendly Watchman Campground in the park, we take the Pa'rus Trail, the only trail where dogs are allowed inside Zion. It winds down to the Virgin River, where we let LADI splash around in the shallow water.

From the Escalante River trailhead, hikers can go about 15 miles upstream or downstream. We hike downstream for about an hour, mostly in open sun that I imagine would be unbearable in the summer, before retracing our steps. LADI is overjoyed that this part of the trail includes several river crossings, and she gets to take a quick swim each time Daysi and I take off our shoes to wade across.

We return to the park the next morning to Grand Staircase for our biggest day of hiking. We're tackling the 6-mile round-trip Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail. Most of the trail is relatively flat, but it's very sandy in many places, so the walking is a bit strenuous, even for LADI, who huffs along.

The pool underneath the falls is too cool for us to brave, but LADI, with all those generations of breeding to hunt in the icy lakes of England, is in paradise. We let her off leash, and she joins two other dogs paddling away to their hearts' content.

When we arrive in the town of Moab, I take LADI for a run in a city park while Daysi hits the market. For the next three nights we cook and dine high-country style. Our cafe is our cabin at the Pack Creek Ranch, in the foothills of the La Sal Mountains about 10 miles outside of Moab.

We know that Arches National Park will be a lot more crowded than Grand Escalante and Capitol Reef, so we take LADI to Karen's Canine Campground for the day.


  • At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Do you ever have townhall meetings? And, if so when and where, and are the people of Utah notified?

    LJ van Wagoner
    (see previous email-same date)

  • At 7:55 AM, Blogger Utah Blog Admin said…

    Utah communities hold occasional public meetings, most centered around a specific topic. Less formal town hall-style gatherings are also held when leaders deem them necessary. Such meetings are advertised in local newspapers and through other media.


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