15 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Utah

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dog is feeling happy in a dog friendly vacation in Utah

Located in the western United States, Utah is bordered by Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado. It is known for its incredible skiing in the winter and has dozens of ski resorts. However, the city is also known for its gorgeous mountains and water sports during the rest of the year. The population is over three million but has plenty of space, so it is one of the least densely populated states in the country. 

The climate in Utah is so varied, it can be in the 100s at ground level and 60s in the mountains during the summer, and winter is cold on the ground with below-freezing temps in the mountain cities. Also, the further south and west you go, the higher the temperatures go. So, the temperature in January may be 50 degrees F in St. George, but in Garden City, it would probably be about 10 degrees F.

Utah is estimated to have half a million fur babies living there, so you will find lots of dog-friendly places and activities. For example, there are more than 2,300 popular pup rental properties, over 600 pet-friendly restaurants, 45 dog parks, and even a couple of dog beaches. We listed our top 15 dog-friendly vacation destinations in Utah here to help guide you.

Salt Lake City

The city of Salt Lake is one of the most pup popular on our list with approximately 33,000 dogs living there with 200,000 humans. Its namesake, Great Salt Lake, is one of the 10 biggest lakes in the country and the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. At 75 miles long and 28 miles wide, it covers 950 square feet! 

With so many fur babies, the city needs lots of parks. It has 10 off-leash dog-friendly parks as well as 82 regional and city parks covering about 860 acres. Since the city has its own huge lake, this is a wonderful spot for a summer vacation with your fur puppy. The largest park where you and Fido can enjoy the waterfront is Salt Lake State Park. However, do not bother to bring your fishing gear because fish cannot tolerate the saltiness of the water. 

To let your pooch run around off the leash, take him to Fairmont Park Dog Park, where they have a large fenced area for pups to play together. It even has a pond. 

St. George

In the southwestern corner of Utah, St. George boasts approximately 100,000 people and 16,000 pups in residence. Being in the Mojave Desert means that summers are incredibly hot, with temps in the triple digits, so you may want to visit during the spring or fall. Nearby, Sand Hollow State Park is a dog-friendly place to spend any day where you can swim, fish, boat, or hike. There are also dunes for OHV riding. 

The city has a few dog parks that are leash-free as well, including the dog park at Firehouse Park with picnic tables, water, and a section for small dogs, and JC Snow Dog Park, which also has a hose and fountain for water play in the summer. 

One unique dog-friendly attraction is the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site. It is located at Johnson Farm and welcomes leashed pups in the outdoor area with picnic tables, a sandbox, and a Walk Through Time exhibit. Remember to bring baggies for poop cleanup.


Even though there are just over 5,000 residents in Moab, it is still a popular place because of the two national parks. Arches National Park gets its name from the 2,000+ sandstone arches on its 76,680 acres. Canyonlands is also named for its natural geological attractions. There are two huge canyons in the plateau shaped by the Colorado and Green Rivers. Be sure to keep Fido on a leash because there are a lot of wild critters roaming around, including bears, bobcats, coyotes, and elk.

If you want to take your fur baby to get some food but cannot decide what you want, take him to Moab Food Truck Park. It has 14 different food trucks, including tacos, chili, gelato, pizza, paninis, and hot dogs, to name a few. In the center is a huge outdoor seating area where leashed dogs are always welcome. 

During the summer, you can enjoy Take Out Beach with your cuddle buddy, where he can play in the water. 

Park City

When you want to ski, Park City is where to go! Black Rock Mountain Resort is one of the newest resorts that welcome pets, and it is right in the heart of the most popular ski area in Utah.  Pendry Park City is another great hotel on the slopes that loves pups. It even has a pool, hot tub, spa, golf course, and restaurant. Hyatt Centric allows dogs and also has a pool, golf course, hot tub, restaurant, and gym.

What’s more, Park City also has four dog parks, including Run-A-Muk Dog Park, with 43 aces, and Trailside Park, which has 63 acres, as well as agility stations with tunnels, ramps, and more. If your dog is not voice-controlled, Quinn’s Junction is smaller, with just a few acres, but it has a special section for little pooches. 

Willow Creek Dog Park is another small dog park with just one acre, but it has a pond. However, if you are there in the winter, your pup cannot do anything but skate on the pond. 

Bryce Canyon National Park

Speaking of canyons, Bryce Canyon National Park is also dog-friendly. This 35,835-acre is renowned due to its hoodoos, which are tall, thin rock formations, also known as earth pyramids, that can reach up to 9,000 feet high. While it is not a good idea to do any serious rock climbing with your fuzzy buddy, they are sure a sight to see and a great background for selfies. 

Hiking fans love Bryce Canyon because of its vast array of hiking trails, from easy walks under 200 feet to strenuous hikes with rapid elevation gains. The Rim Trail is an easy walk that takes about 30 minutes to complete. It is about six miles from Sunset Point to Fairyland Point. For something more challenging, take the Navajo Loop Queens Garden Trail. It is about three miles long and features lots of stunning hoodoos.

If you plan to stay overnight (or longer), there are several campgrounds with hundreds of sites. But remember that they are first-come, first-served part of the year.

Saratoga Springs

Planning a weekend getaway with your fur baby is easy in a city like Saratoga Springs because there are more than 6,000 pooches in residence. Located on the northern end of Utah Lake, you will find lots of places where your pupster can play along the water. Shoreline Park is one of the largest and even has its own little pond. However, he has to be on a leash at all times.

For some off-leash fun, take your pup to Spanish Fork Dog Park. It is a large fenced area with lush grass and separate areas for large and small dogs as well as an agility course in its own section. Named after its sister city in New York, Saratoga Springs has hot springs near Jordan River where you and your canine companion can soak your muscles after playing all day at the dog park. 

Don’t miss Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop, where they have 140 different flavors. They also have a dog menu where Fido can pick from several dog-friendly treats.  


At the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in northern Utah, Sandy is a little-known spot that is perfect for a romantic getaway with your honey. And your dog, too, of course. The one thing that the town is known for is farming. The best peaches, beets, and alfalfa come from Sandy. And Sandy is not a small town by any definition with almost 97,000 residents and 16,000 fur babies.

Pack up your pup, your honey, and a cooler of food and beverages, and head to Dimple Dell Regional Park for a romantic picnic overlooking the water. After, walk off those calories with a hike. The park has 11 trails ranging from easy to difficult. If your cuddly canine companion is in need of some running, let him off the leash at Sandy Dog Park, where they have one acre and even a trail.

Then, stop in at Starbucks for a refuel. Don’t forget to get your fur baby something. They have Puppuccinos for dogs, but you have to ask for them. 


Get the kids and your fur baby in the car and take them to Draper in northern Utah, just 20 miles from Salt Lake City, where there is something fun for all ages. First, Boondocks Food & Fun is a great amusement park with a variety of rides and games. There are bumper boats, go-karts, mini-golf, a ropes course, laser tag, and an arcade. It also has some delicious carnival food. But Fido will have to stay at the doggie daycare. 

Also dog-free but still fun, the Museum of Natural Curiosity for science fun, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium to see stingrays, seahorses, and penguins, and the Cowabunga Bay Water Park, where you can cool off in the lazy river. Then, go get Fido and bring him to Dayland Dog Park so he can romp and play without a leash. 

Afterwards, grab a bite to eat on the dog-friendly patio at The Ridge Market & Cafe. They have pizza, pasta, sandwiches, fish, chicken, and more.


Another place you can play in the snow with your fur bro is Ogden. In fact, if you stay at Ogden Nordic with your pooch, he can go on the trails with you as you do some cross-country skiing. Just make sure he is bundled up and on a leash. You may not find giant drops or peaks like at other ski lodges, but there are lots of trails where you and your fur pal can enjoy the snow. You can even do some snowshoeing and fat biking if you want to.

After a day on the slopes, you may be tired, but your pup is probably still rearing to go. There are a couple of great dog parks in Ogden where your fur baby can run around off the leash. South Ogden Dog Park has two acres of fenced play space. Ogden City Dog Park is even more pup popular because it has an agility course as well as a small dog section.

If your pooch needs a good bath and style after all the running around, take him to Idlewire Pet Care. They will fix him up nice!

Cedar City

Want to save some money? Who doesn’t? Cedar City is a very affordable place to take a vacation with your cuddle buddy. First, you can get a dog-friendly room for under $100 at several hotels. In fact, Motel 6 has a room for $44, and there is no pet fee! Quality Inn is just $64 with a $25 pet fee, and they even have an indoor pool!

After checking in at your hotel, take Fido to IG Winery & Tasting Room, where you can have some wine and your pooch can enjoy a bowl of water. Then, take your best buddy to Enoch Petsafe Dog Park. There are two sections with all sorts of fun activities. Both have ramps, tunnels and jumps, as well as a water play area. There are also benches and other shaded seating for the pup parents. 

By now, you and your pooch have probably worked up an appetite. The Pub serves all sorts of delicious dishes, from burgers to porterhouse steaks, and Fido can join you on the patio. 


You will not find thousands of people and their pups living in Springdale. In fact, the population at last count in 2020 was approximately 600 people and 100 fur babies. But what you will find in Springdale is Zion National Park, where your cuddly canine can join you as long as he is on a leash. With 146,597 acres of recreational space, you are bound to find some places to spend the day. 

Zion was first opened in 1919, making it Utah’s first national park. There are two main campgrounds if you plan to stay for a while. Watchman Campground is right next to the visitor center at the south entrance and has 175 pup-friendly campsites with water and toilets. Lava Point Campground only has six primitive sites with pit toilets.

The park also has seven trails to enjoy, but keep your pup out of the water and remember that there are a lot of wild animals in the park. Also, make sure you have bags to pick up what your pup drops.

West Jordan

West Jordan is the third most populated city in Utah, with 117,000. It also has about 19,000 dogs, so you will surely see some of them and their humans, especially at the best spot in town, West Jordan Dog Park. The 4.5-acre pooch play area is fully fenced and separated into three sections. One for little dogs, one for big dogs, and another for all dogs.

The city is named after the river that runs along the east border, the Jordan River, which offers all sorts of summer activities like boating, fishing, swimming, and paddleboarding. It is also at the base of the Oquirrh Mountains on the western side of the city. In fact, you can enjoy the mountains by taking Fido for a walk in Sycamores Open Space Park. Keep him on a leash and bring doggie bags. 

Make sure you get a look at the Bingham Copper Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, which is the largest manmade excavation and the deepest pit mine in the world. 


Provo is a fantastic place for a weekend getaway, whether you are coming in the winter or the summer. During the winter, stay at Sundance Mountain Resort, where dogs are welcome. They have nine miles of cross-country skiing trails where you can also bring your pooch. You can even do nighttime skiing here. There are separate snowshoe trails for those who would rather walk. The resort offers on-site transportation, a fitness center, yoga, and handmade soap.

If you are visiting in the summer, the Utah Lake State Park is where to take your canine compadre. Utah Lake is the state’s largest freshwater lake, and it has some of the best fishing in Utah. You can also go swimming, boating, hiking, or get a campsite and you can do all those things. There are only 30 sites so book yours way in advance.

After, let Fido run without a leash at Bicentennial Park. Their large fenced pup park has a separate small dog area, a fire hydrant to pee on, and lots of benches for pet parents. 

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

In northeastern Utah, one of the largest national forests in the country, the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest boasts over 2.2 million acres of space, including seven different wilderness sections featuring dozens of parks, recreation areas, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, canyons, and mountains. Dogs are welcome in most areas of the forest as long as they are on a leash no longer than eight feet. Also, bring bags to pick up after your pooch.

Fishing is awesome here, but make sure you get your Utah fishing license and keep it on you. There are trout, catfish, bass, muskie, and crappie in the waters of the forest. There are also more than 300 main trails that you can explore. Some of these include the 1.3-mile Brighton Lakes Trail and the five-acre White Pine Trail. 

Even during the winter, the forest has something for everyone, with Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling trails. Keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and the mighty elk. 

The Final Woof

With so many dog-friendly vacation destinations, it can be difficult to choose where to go. That is why we try to separate them for different activities and seasons. Winter vacations are most popular in Park City, Provo, Ogden, and the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, with both Nordic and alpine skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. For those interested in swimming, boating, and other summer activities, check out St. George, West Jordan, Provo, and Saratoga Springs. For a fun camping trip, Springdale, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Provo are popular. In fact, Provo seems to be the most popular for all kinds of fun all year long. 

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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