Dog-Friendly Utah | Winter Hikes
Even though the temperature outside is cooler and daylight hours are shorter, that does not mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. I find winter to be such a magical time on the trail. The peacefulness, snow kissed trees and mountains add to the beautiful landscape. We are sharing some of our favorite dog-friendly winter hikes that are just a short drive from Salt Lake City.
Yellow Fork Canyon
This canyon is popular for hikers, bikers and equestrian riders. The trails are not as busy in the winter, which make it a nice playground for us. There are plenty of trails to choose from depending on how far and long you want to go. For a longer hike, we like the Yellow Fork Canyon Loop Trail. If you are limited on time and want a shorter hike, then you can do the Yellow Fork Trail
Trail: Yellow Fork Canyon Loop Trail & Yellow Fork Trail
Length: 6.8 miles & 4.6 miles
Leash Required: Yes
Located just a short drive from downtown Salt Lake City you will find Millcreek Canyon. There are plenty of trails to choose from. You can check out a full list here. Our favorite trail is the Mill Creek Ski Trail. About 3 miles past the entrance gate, you will find that the road is closed from November 1 – July 1. This makes for a great winter wonderland to explore with the dogs. Grab your cross-country skis, snowshoes or snow cleats and head up the trail. You will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains, tall pine trees and a river along the way.
Trail: Mill Creek Ski Trail
Length: 4.5 miles one-way
Leash Required: No leash required on odd-numbered days. Leashes required on even-numbered days.
Neff’s Canyon Trail
This trail is close to downtown Salt Lake City and a great escape for you and the pups. You will encounter a nice steady climb for about the first ½ mile. This hill tends to be a popular spot for families to go sledding on. The trail is shaded, so I recommend wearing snow cleats for when you encounter some icy spots.
Length: 6.2 miles round-trip
Leash Required: Yes
Round Valley is a go to with the pups. This trail system is popular for cross-country skiers, snowshoeing, fat tire biking or just hiking around. There are 1400 acres of off-leash space to enjoy with your dogs. You will find gentle rolling hills to steeper climbs depending on the route you choose.
Length: There are plenty of trails to choose from, so you can determine the length you want. You can find the trail map here.
Difficulty: Beginner – Difficult
Leash Required: No, but make sure they are leashed in the parking lots and trail head.
Iron Canyon Trail
Grab your sled and head up this trail with your pups. The trail is not very wide, so you may have to step to the side to let other hikers or those on a sled to make their way down. The trail is breathtaking and will give you that butt burning workout you have been looking for. Once you made it to the top, you earned that rid down on the sled. You will be passing through trees, so please be careful and enjoy yourself.
Length: 2 miles round trip
Leash Required: No, but make sure they are under voice control with those sledding down.
Alpine Scenic Loop Road
The Alpine Loop Road is closed in the winter and makes for a great destination to explore with your pups. We prefer to enjoy this hike just past Sundance Resort. The gate will be closed on the road near the Aspen Grove Trailhead you can start you hike from there. I find it is best to explore the trail with snowshoes or cross-country skis. You will get plenty of sunshine on those bluebird days and spectacular views. Before you head out, I do recommend check the weather conditions and snow pack as this area has been known for avalanches.
Length: How ever long you would like to go.
Difficulty: Moderate - Difficult
Leash Required: Technically yes, but I rarely see people on this trail and every dog I have seen has been off leash.
Make sure you are prepared for the elements. Check out our tips for hiking with your dog in winter. We hope that you and your pups enjoy the trails as much as we do.
Waggin Tails, Happy Travels!
Krista and The Pups
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