Top Five Hikes for You and Your Furry Friend


(Photo by Kamryn Broschinsky)

If you’re sick of binge-watching TV and your dog is even more tired of fighting Netflix for your attention, then it’s time to take things outside and hit the trails. As the summer heat begins to settle, it’s prime hiking time. Here are my top five trails for you and your canine. They’re laid-back, scenic, and will give you both a chance to hone your skills.

[email protected]


Jordan Parkway Trail

40 miles (total length)

For trail-goers who love to be surrounded by nature without straying too far from civilization, Jordan Parkway is a perfect choice. It’s a 40-mile stretch of suburban trail that runs parallel to the Jordan River. The parkway also hosts an adjacent and equally popular paved bike path. In addition to the scenery, fresh air, and water features, the great thing about the parkway is that you can leave any time you want because you’re not deep within the wilderness. This is an easy hike, and both dogs and horses are welcome.

Big Water Trail/Dog Lake

6 miles

If you’re looking for a dog spot, then look no further because Dog Lake is the place to be. Millcreek Canyon is one of the few areas that does charge a usage fee, but it’s worth the $3. The canyon is extremely dog-friendly, so plan on seeing a multitude of slobbering and curious canines on your hike. On odd-numbered days, your dogs can even roam off-leash. This hike is a great beginner or intermediate hike; it’s mostly level with a just a handful of switchbacks. If you don’t feel like you’re in “Fern Gully,” you’re in the wrong place.

Killyon Canyon

5.6 miles

This trail follows a stream for almost the entire length which is great for your furry friends to drink from when they get thirsty. The path eventually forks, and you can go left for a longer hike up to Lookout Mountain. Avoid Killyon Canyon in rainy and snowy seasons, unless you and your dog are into mud wrestling. The trail is fairly narrow, so when you and your pooch encounter others, be sure to be courteous and friendly.

Bonneville Shoreline Trail/Ensign Peak

100 miles (total length)/.86 miles

The shoreline trail is a work-in-progress that stretches over 100 miles. Dogs are welcome on- and off-leash on many sections of the trail. While the shoreline has many easily accessible entrances, the best places to hop on are by the U, close to Red Butte Garden, the top of the Avenues, and off the Ensign Peak trail. Coupling Ensign Peak with the Shoreline trail is great because Ensign is a short hike (only 380 ft. of elevation gain), but with a great view of the Salt Lake Valley. Whatever you feel up to tackling, the shoreline is perfect for an all-day excursion or a quick out-and-back with your four-legged companion.

City Creek Canyon

1.2 to 6 miles

City Creek Canyon is nestled right in the heart of Salt Lake City. Depending on who you ask, it could be considered more of a nature hike than a trail. City Creek offers options for people of all skill levels. Whether you’re a marathon runner or simply looking for a quick hike with no technical maneuvers, this is the perfect spot. City Creek Canyon has a trail that begins in Memory Grove Park with plenty of shade, so you and your dog can stay cool.

[email protected]