Surrounded by stunning mountains, incredible desert areas, and forests full of pine trees, Flagstaff is a fairly large city in north-central Arizona considered to be the gateway to the San Francisco Peaks. Not far from the Grand Canyon, this popular city boasts almost 77,000 residents with hundreds of thousands more visitors every year. Other nearby parks include the Oak Creek Canyon and the Arizona Snowbowl Meteor Crater, as well as city parks like Buffalo and Thorpe Parks.
The arid climate keeps the average high around 65 degrees F, with winter temperatures ranging from 44 to 52. Summers are hot but not as you would expect for a desert city. Highs in the summer range from 80 to 85. It does not rain or snow much here either, so outdoor activities are popular. There are almost 700 acres of city parks and almost two million acres of wilderness in the Coconino National Forest. Although there are not many off-leash dog parks here, we found 15 dog-friendly parks for you and your pup to explore in Flagstaff.
Thorpe Bark Park
In western Flagstaff, just a few minutes from downtown, Thorpe Bark Park has about two acres of pup park to enjoy with your fluffy friend. The dog park is in the northwestern corner of the park by the northern entrance. You will find a separate section for small and shy dogs to play so they feel safe and a variety of agility equipment in each section. This includes numerous tunnels, ramps, jumps, and climbing obstacles. The bark park also provides shaded seating, water fountains, and waste stations.
The rest of Thorpe Park is also dog-friendly as long as you keep your pooch leashed. It has several playgrounds for the kiddos, ball fields, a championship disc golf course, volleyball, basketball, and racquetball courts, as well as picnic areas with tables and barbecue grills. If you like to fish, get an Arizona fishing license and bring your gear because the Frances Short Pond is stocked with some big ones!
Barkmaster Dog Park
East of downtown Flagstaff Bushmaster Park also has a large fun hound haven right in the middle of the park. This one has over two and a half acres with weave poles, see-saws, ramps, and tunnels, as well as lots of open space for a game of fetch or frisbee. What a great way to spend some one-on-one time with your favorite fur friend! Of course, being in a public park, there are always some polite pups for your canine companion to play with too!
After your fur puppy runs himself ragged, you can put his leash back on and take a leisurely walk with him through the rest of the park. You will find a vast array of sports like horseshoes, tennis, volleyball, basketball, and even a skate park. There is also a modern playground with swings, climbing, and slides. Bring some food, and you can have a picnic or barbecue at one of the pavilions or other picnic areas.
Right in downtown Flagstaff, Wheeler Public Park has about three acres of recreational space for you and your fur baby to explore and enjoy with trails, open lawns, and shaded seating. Although it does not have an off-leash dog park for your pooch, the park welcomes all dogs as long as they are leashed and you bring cleanup bags to pick up after him. But as a pet parent, you probably already have that covered!
You will need to check the schedule on the website before going because the park is home to many different events, from the Hullaballoo Festival and Art in the Park to concerts and even pet adoption. Some of the events they hold do not allow pets, so make sure you find out before heading to the park. Bring a lawn chair if you plan to stay a while because there is limited seating. They even have haunted tours by Freaky Foot Tours that allow well-behaved leashed pups.
Pumphouse County Natural Area
In southern Flagstaff, just past Kachina Village off Interstate 17, Pumphouse County Natural Area is a fun place to bring your pup as long as he is leashed. The recreational area has almost 130 acres, including one of the rarest wetland wildlife habitats in the state of Arizona. Located at the head of Oak Creek, the waterway leads to the Verde River, which is one of the only free-flowing rivers in the desert. You can park at Raymond County Park and take the short trail to get to the water.
Besides swimming, boating, and fishing in the water, you should also walk up to the pumphouse, where you can check out the view from the Raymond County viewing platform. Just about any time of the year, you can spot an array of wildlife, including elk, deer, foxes, and coyotes as well as black bears and mountain lions. Don’t forget to pack some baggies to pick up what your pup drops.
Fort Tuthill County Park
Five miles north of Pumphouse County Natural Area and just three miles south of downtown Flagstaff, you will find more than 620 acres of recreational space at Fort Tuthill County Park. Home of the Coconino County Fair and many other festivals, concerts, and events, this park has plenty of room for everything you want to do and then some! Put your fur puppy’s leash on, and he can join you on the trails, picnic areas, and other areas of this massive park.
Besides hiking, you can also enjoy their free disc golf course, bike park, and archery range. There is also an adventure course you can try, but you have to ask permission for your pup, and you may have to pay a small fee. But with over 600 acres, you will also find creeks, ponds, and lakes, as well as a few equestrian arenas. Be sure to pack extra water, snacks, and poop bags.
Coconino National Forest
One of the largest natural recreational spaces in Arizona, the Coconino National Forest boasts more than 1.8 million acres of red rocks, thick woods, and stunning views. Leashed pets are welcome anywhere in the forest except for the Red Rock District, Red Rock State Park, Elden Pueblo, and the Inner Basin. The forest is home to the highest spot in Arizona at 12,633 feet on Humphrey’s Peak. But they do not recommend climbing this mountain unless you are experienced, and you should probably not bring your pup.
There are 10 wilderness areas in the forest, including one in Flagstaff, which is Munds Mountain. In addition, you and your cuddly canine can stay at one of the 19 campgrounds in the forest, where you will likely see some of the wildlife, including elk, pronghorn, coatimundi, and maybe even black bears and mountain lions. You can also fish, swim, and go boating on one of the waterways.
Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park can be found in the middle of Oak Creek Canyon, about 20 minutes south of downtown Flagstaff. It got its name from the 80-foot natural slide you can take to splash into the water on a hot day. Your pooch is welcome on a leash, but it may not be a good idea on this slippery rock. There are also lots of smaller natural pools where you and your fur baby can splash around and play.
There are also two nice short trails you and your pooch can explore, including the half-mile Clifftop Trail and the Pendley Homestead Trail, which is about a third of a mile long. On the homestead hike, you can see the historic cabins, the homestead, and apple orchards. You are welcome to enjoy some of the apples when they are ripe. Just keep your pooch on a leash here, and there is plenty to keep you busy but remember to bring doggie bags.
If you have never seen or love to see coots and other waterfowl, head to Marshall Lake, about 20 minutes south of downtown Flagstaff. During the wet season, which is June through September, the lake is usually full of life and stocked with trout by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. However, during dry spells, you may not see any water at all! Either way, your canine compadre is welcome on a leash, and he will love sniffing the new scents here, water or no water.
Primitive dispersed camping is allowed from May through October, and it is first come, first served. You can also enjoy a picnic, hiking, or the view of the stunning mountain ranges nearby. However, there are no tables or restrooms as it is a natural area with no water. But you can find a few port-a-potties if you look around. Bring your own water and doggie bags.
Prescott National Forest
Another large wilderness area, Prescott National Forest, has over 100,000 acres with 450 miles of scenic trails in western Flagstaff. Dogs are welcome anywhere as long as they are leashed. In the forest, you will find picnic areas, 10 campgrounds, manmade and natural lakes, and eight wilderness areas. Granite Mountain Wilderness area is popular because it has a paved road and is easy to get to. Take the time to visit Granite Basin Lake while you are there for some swimming, boating, and fishing.
Woodchute Wilderness area is also pup popular, with almost 6,000 acres of space to explore, including Woodchute Mountain and Mingus Mountain, where you will find a campground and picnic area. If you are looking for some open road for your OHV, Verde, and Bradshaw both have several trails, day-use areas, and campgrounds just for those people who like to go off-roading. You will need your own poop bags and water.
Kaibab National Forest
Just north of Flagstaff and south of the Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest actually surrounds part of the Grand Canyon. Whether you and Fido are looking for your next mountain to climb, canyons and prairies to explore, or lakes to enjoy, this forest has 1.6 million acres. This includes more than a dozen different campgrounds, several day-use areas, and a few visitor centers. Just keep your cuddly canine companion on his leash and bring baggies to clean up after him.
Pack a lunch or more for a hike in the forest on one of over 50 different trails. Some are short and easy, while others are way more challenging. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you go, and always let someone know when you are leaving and where you will be. It is a beautiful wild area where you can see all sorts of wildlife, so keep your pup on a short leash.
Rogers Lake County Park
Just southwest of Flagstaff, Rogers Lake welcomes leashed dogs, but you need to keep your pooch close because this place is packed with wildlife too. If you take one of the trails, you are almost guaranteed to see some critters from rattlesnakes, coyotes, and black bears, or just some squirrels, prairie dogs, and rabbits. Keep your eye to the sky, and you may see a bald eagle or red-tailed hawk searching for prey.
The park is only 15 minutes from downtown, so you would not expect so much nature, but this is an untouched area that is kept natural for a reason. There are several trails, including the four-mile Gold Digger Trail and a two-mile trail around the lake. It is at a high elevation (about 7,000 feet), so you will notice the difference in air temperature as well. Those with breathing problems should not do too much exercise here due to the lack of oxygen in the air.
Due east of Flagstaff and a few miles south of Bushmaster Park, Foxglenn Park is a community recreation area with activities for everyone. It has just over 28 acres of space that includes a fantastic playground for the kiddos with two jungle gyms packed with several slides, swings, and climbing activities. It has a soft sand base, so you do not have to worry about falls or scraped knees. And you can have a picnic or barbecue right next to the playground.
If you like basketball, there is two basketball courts, but you need to bring your own ball. In addition, there are soccer, softball, and multi-purpose fields to enjoy. As long as you keep your fur puppy on his leash and bring bags to pick up his poop, he is welcome to join you. They even have a skate park where you can take a seat and watch the skaters perform their magic.
About 10 minutes northeast of downtown Flagstaff, the 215-acre Buffalo Park is also pup popular for leashed pups. It is most well-known for its two-mile trail that connects to a huge network of trails called FUTS (Flagstaff Urban Trail System), which will take you into the Coconino National Forest. You may not see any buffalo, but if you take a walk through the fields and prairies, to see prairie dogs, elk, and other wildlife. Be sure to bring a camera or have your phone camera ready.
You should also bring plenty of water, snacks, and doggie bags, as well as lots of energy. It is a stunning place to walk with the snow-capped mountains in the background, and they even have outdoor fitness equipment. And it is so close to town, you know you are just minutes from a drive-thru eatery or store. Make sure you get a selfie with the buffalo monument at the entrance to share on your social media pages.
Just to the south of Buffalo Park, you can find a nice family park with 40 acres. McPherson Community Park is well-known in the area for its 18-hole disc golf course, which is very popular with the locals. Dogs are welcome anywhere in the park as long as they are leashed and cleaned up after. There are several portable bathrooms as well as one modern permanent restroom with running water. However, you should bring your own drinking water for you and Fido.
If you have the little humans with you, they will love the playground with its fun swings, slides, and monkey bars. There are also tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and a basketball court. Bring your own balls and discs for the disc golf course. Also, make sure you and your pooch are covered in sunscreen because there is not a lot of shade here, especially when you venture out on the trail.
Grand Canyon National Park
One of the most famous parks in the United States, the Grand Canyon National Park is a place you have to see while you are in town. It is a little bit further than the neighborhood parks, but it is less than an hour away and is worth the trip. If you have never been there, the renowned park attraction is the one-mile-deep canyon that everyone wants to see. After all, it is one of the Wonders of the World.
The park has more than 1.2 million acres, including numerous parks, campgrounds, lakes, and miles of trails. Running right through the middle is the Colorado River, which is a fantastic spot for a dip in the water with your leashed fur puppy. There are many places to stop and enjoy a picnic or just stop and enjoy the view on one of the scenic overlooks. If you are adventurous, try one of the hikes to the North Rim.
The Final Woof
Although there are only a couple of parks that offer off-leash fun for your pup, it is quite a dog-friendly town. If you feel like going shopping, check out the Sage Brush Trading Company, where they have all sorts of gifts, souvenirs, jewelry, and clothing. The C-A-L Ranch Store is also pup-friendly and has everything from camping supplies to clothing. If you enjoy flowers and plants, take your canine companion to The Arboretum, where all leashed fur pups are welcome. They have about 200 acres of gardens and trails. When you are ready to relax and enjoy a nice cold brew, Wanderlust Brewing Company has dozens of craft brews as well as food trucks.