If you live in Salt Lake City, consider yourself lucky. Salt Lake has tons of places where you can bring your dog to enjoy the great outdoors. Not only is Salt Lake a somewhat dog friendly city, it is also home to tons of great parks and recreation areas that were designed for dog walking! As always, when taking your dog on a walk somewhere, be sure to bring your own dog bags and clean up after your sweet little doggy so other people do not step in their mess!
In no particular order, here are some great places to take your pet for some sunshine and exercise.
1. Sugarhouse Park
Sugarhouse park is great for many reasons. The first being, there is more than one walking trail! The main walking trail is the paved roadway that goes around the park. Each lap is about 1.5 miles or so. You will get two small hills to walk up, and the rest is either flat or downhill. The first hill is located on the south west end of the park, and the second, is located on the north east side of the loop. There are usually lots of other dog walkers, runners, and even cyclists here. Traffic usually isn’t too bad and car’s seem to obey the speed limits.
Sugarhouse park is a popular place for events and festivals. If you are wanting to go when nobody else is there, good luck. This place is usually pretty popular, from sunrise all the way until sunset. Even after dark you will still find some joggers. If you go in the summer time, on Fridays, there is a dog friendly farmers market. Not only do you get out and have a nice walk with your dog, but you also get to buy some nice fruits and vegetables. In the wintertime, the road is usually cleared as well. Bring warm clothes for you, and your pup!
The second trail in sugarhouse park is actually in the grass, and loops around the outside of the park. Be careful though, this is where lots of trail runners seem to go when they cannot make it up into the hills. Overall, this path will be less densely populated with people, and may be softer on your dogs paws.
2. Liberty Park
The second dog walking area in Salt Lake in our list is the famous Liberty Park. This place is always a popular spot for people, and dogs. It is usually always more populated than Sugarhouse Park. You will find a flat 1.5 mile loop.
The cool thing about Liberty park, unlike sugarhouse, is there is a separate sidewalk for pedestrians to walk. Its wide too, so there should be more than enough room for you to walk abreast with a friend, or pet. You will find lots of strollers here, joggers, and even cyclists. There are quite a few dog walkers here as well. Just like at sugarhouse, Liberty Park also has an outside area for trail runners. This is separate from the main sidewalk for walkers and joggers. Liberty Park also is a popular spot for events, family gatherings, or other large meetings. In the summer, there are pools open, and once a year, when the pools are closed for the year, they allow you to bring your dog to go swimming before they are closed for winter. This year, the annual Strut Your Mutt was held at Liberty Park.
3. Bonneville Shoreline Trail area
I love going to Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the evenings as the sun is setting. It provides a spectacular view of the Salt Lake Valley. My dog even loves it too. Sometimes, we both sit up on the trail and have a glass of wine and watch the sun set…just kidding. In reality though, this is a cool spot to take your dog.
The benefit of going up the Bonneville Shoreline to walk your dog is the fact that you can get away from the city, have a great view, and be there within 10 or 15 minutes of anywhere in the Valley. I normally find the best place to park at the University of Utah (Caution, you must have a permit if you park during school hours, but you should be okay most evenings).
There are a few different places to park, one being by Red Butte Gardens, or the new Natural History of Museum. If you park at the Museum, just walk up to the building like you are going to go inside and view some artifacts. You won’t miss the trail, you literally have to cross it in order to get to the doors of the Museum. You can take it either way, but from the Museum, the fastest way to get to a view is to head South. If you go North, you will cross a road and continue past Red Butte Gardens, and over towards the University. Both have great views and are fun for dog walking. If you have time, you can explore the many other trails that branch off of the main trail.
The Shoreline Trail is a popular trail in Salt Lake City for dog walkers. You will also find the ‘real’ trail runners here, as well as some mountain bikers, and hikers. This is also the area where you would begin the hike to the ‘living room trail’. See if you can find it! Most people get lost their first time on their way up, but usually, if you ask the locals on the trail, they will point you in the right direction.
One word of advice when hiking around the Bonneville Shoreline trail is this: Be careful of wild life. This is not meant to scare you, or anyone else, but there is indeed wildlife here. You may see deer, mountain lions, or a rattle snake. Always keep your eyes on the path and check where you are walking. Try to keep your ears in tune with your surroundings as well, so you can hear any rattlers trying to warn you that you are about to invade their space. In reality, getting bit by a rattlesnake on the trail is rare, but it does happen. Remember, you are in their territory. If you respect them, they usually will respect you. Not to go on a rant, but here are a few statistics about rattle snakes:
- About 7000 to 8000 people get bit each year. Of those people only about 5 people die. Death by rattlesnake is actually very rare, if treated. Remember, you are right next to the University of Utah Hospital too!
- Snakes control the amount of venom they release. A grumpy snake is more likely to inject venom. This is why it is important to not mess with them. Leave them alone. Let them pass, do not try to move them or harass them. It is said that in about 20% of bites, no venom is released at all!
But wait! What about my dog? Will he be okay if he gets bit by a rattlesnake?
Good question! According to the “Textbook of small animal surgery”, 2002, more than 15,000 animals are bit each year, with rattle snake envenomation being accountable for 80% of the deadly incidents. This means that if Fido gets bit, you need to take him to the vet as soon as possible! Do not delay! In fact, let me just say this, if you, or your pet, or your goldfish, or anyone else gets bit by a rattlesnake, please go to the appropriate healthcare facility in your local area or call 911.
- Rattlesnakes are most active in the summer. They come out of hibernation in early spring, and are most active during 80 to 90 degree weather. During the hottest parts of summer (Above 100 degrees) they are usually found hiding under rocks. When you are walking the trails, always keep an eye out for snakes. And no, Snakes cannot ‘hear’ you talking and whistling, but they CAN feel you walking via tha vibrations on the ground.
Whoa, I am getting off topic here, let’s get back to Dog Walking and off of Snakes!
Overall, Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a GREAT place to walk your dog. Don’t let the snakes scare you away, Lots of people go up there often with their dogs, and after all, if it wasn’t such a great place to walk your dog, then it wouldn’t be on this list!
East Sugarhouse Neighborhoods
If you live in sugarhouse, you are lucky. I love going for walks in Sugarhouse. Sugarhouse is a very nice place. I like to park my car at a deli or coffee shop near 1500 east and 1500 south and walk the neighborhoods with friends or dogs. The neighborhoods are clean, and the architecture of the homes are very cool. You can make a decision if you want to stay on flat ground, or walk east to climb the hills. There are plenty of small diners and shops in the neighborhoods if you know where to go.
Overall, Dog walking in Salt Lake City can be a joy. There are so many places to go, and so many places I left out. City Creek Canyon, Millcreek Canyon, both great places to take your dog for a walk. There are also numerous dog parks if you want to let you little guy go free and play with other dogs. In fact, there is one on 700 east in between Sugarhouse Park and Liberty Park. Millcreek Canyon is a fun canyon that allows pets, however, if you drive in, there is an entrance fee. Dogs are not allowed up Little Cottonwood Canyon or Big Cottonwood Canyon due to the protected watershed area. I never quite understood that, considering all of the other wildlife up there! Maybe someone can answer for me?