Activities For Dogs In Arches National Park

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Introduction

Many locations in the National Park system boast features visitors won't find anywhere else, but with an atmosphere all its own, Arches National Park in Utah can be a fantastic destination for you and your dog. While it does still pose some restrictions, including not allowing dogs on trails or overlooks, as well as having intimidating weather in the depths of summer, that doesn't mean visitors can't still find some fun with their furry friends. There are still several activities and areas available to take in the incredible beauty of the park, and since there are more than 76,000 acres and 2,000 iconic sandstone arches throughout the park, visitors won't be disappointed wherever they happen to end up.

Camping

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Moderate
Easy
24 - 48 hrs
Items needed
Tent
Sleeping Bag
Dog Bags
Leash
Food
Water
Activity description
Of all the magic you can experience in Arches National Park, one of the best ways to truly immerse yourself is by camping. Not only will it provide more dynamic in terms of seeing the park through various stages of light, temperature and activity, but get you more in touch with the nature around you in the process. While dog-accompanied visitors are limited to Devil's Garden Campground only, it still provides beautiful views and a fair amount of space. The cost is only moderate since park fees are $30 (7-day vehicle pass) and a single camping site costs $25 and can fit up to 10 people and 2 vehicles, meaning you can share with more human or canine friends as well.
Step
1
Planning
To get the best possible experience out of your trip, planning is key. Arches National Park is extremely popular, especially certain times of the year, so it's a good idea to make a reservation if you want to preserve your spot and not risk having to camp elsewhere. Start by choosing an appropriate time of year suitable for your comforts. Spring and fall are generally best, as temperatures are most accommodating compared to the potential 100 degree summer days and single digit winter nights. Then, consider whether you want to go solo (just you and your dog) or bring friends along. Additional members will help keep costs lower and provide more entertainment, but may take away from the experience because of distraction. Once you've got both of those figured out, book your site.
Step
2
Prepping
Now that you have your site booked and knowledge of your camping party size and members, you'll want to gather supplies. A tent, sleeping bag and extra layers are a great start, but don't forget your dog's needs too. Dog beds, dog bags, food, water and appropriate dishes (the human types too) are all necessary, as is a good leash (and toys, as long as they aren't shredded or left, are a good idea as well). Of course, extra prep items are encouraged as well, including entertainment like games if you plan to bring others or a camera if you'll have enough time to get some shots. You'll also likely want a map of the park and additional information as well, much of which can be accessed through a smartphone, which is universally helpful (but service isn't guaranteed).
Step
3
Arch forward!
Once the planning and prepping are done, you just need to wait for the day to come and head in. You'll need to pay for your park fees if you haven't already (can be done online or at the park entrance). Head to your site and get your things set up so you can spend more time enjoying your dog and the surroundings. Consider checking the weather and making a schedule of basic plans, such as photography (best around sunrise and sunset), having a campfire (which will require obtaining wood outside the park), or just relaxing and enjoying the views. There are tons of ways to enjoy the park, including reading about its history or plants and wildlife.
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Road Warriors

Popular
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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Sunscreen
Leash
Dog Bags
Water
Activity description
It's hard to deny that Arches National Park is a bit restrictive when it comes to pets, especially considering they aren't allowed on hiking trails anywhere in the park. But that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy a good walk or drive, let alone with the gorgeous looming arches and other rock formations at every turn. Our best suggestion, to enjoy the most of what it has to offer is to use the road loops to your advantage. That way you'll minimize backtracking and see a fair amount of the park while maintaining some efficiency. It's low-cost at just the $30 entrance fee and can comfortably be done in various weather (even though we chose sunny) since you can easily hop from car to road and vice versa as the weather changes.
Step
1
Map it out
Before you depart for your trip, look at the park map and see how best to make use of your time inside the park. The road system is pretty simple, as the landscape only allows one main road in and out of the park yet has three distinct branches: The Windows Section, the Delicate Arch and Devil's Garden. Our best suggestion is to visit each of the destinations, park your car in an appropriate place, then walk your dog either alongside the road (make sure to be careful!) or around in the picnic areas so you can still get exercise, get outside and appreciate the scenery.
Step
2
Hike and drive
Once you've got a general idea of where you want to go, pay your fees and head to the first location. Make sure to check the weather beforehand if possible, as you may be able to time your driving for any inclement weather (too hot, too cold, rainy) while saving walks for in between. Depending on the time of year or business, you may want to check more than one site before stopping. Parking lots can fill up quick, so instead of blocking traffic, it might be best to move on to another site first. With any luck, you'll find a good place to park your vehicle so you and your dog can explore all the dog-friendly spots the park has to offer. Just don't forget to bring enough water for the pair of you, especially if it's hot!
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Photo Log

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Camera
Water
Activity description
Like taking a walk, enjoying the landscape can be as simple as snapping random pictures or thorough as planning out an entire trip. Of course, photography can be incorporated into either of the prior two activities as well, but it can be addressed on its own too. If you want to keep it simple, just snap pictures whenever you find something interesting. But for a greater challenge and a bit more interest, consider making a list of the park's famous arches, landmarks, plants and wildlife and see how many you can capture with your camera. Having a dog with you might reduce the chances of seeing wildlife, but then again, it may also spur some activity as well! At the cost of entrance fees and only restricted by weather that may be hazardous to your equipment, it's a pretty wide-ranging activity.
Step
1
Make a plan (or don't)
Let's be clear right off the bat: you may just want to snap random photos and that is perfectly fine. If that's the case, you won't need to follow our steps. Just grab your supplies, your dog, head in and shoot away! For those who want a bit more intrigue, consider what is most interesting for you to photograph, then plan around it. If you like the rock formations, consider being in the park for sunrise or sunset to get the most dramatic pictures. If you want to see wildlife, do some research and see when and where those animals are most active (which may be restricted depending on what areas dogs are allowed). If you want to see the plants, talk to park rangers about where it's easiest to find them. Consider having a map ready for digital or analog markups to help shape your trip more accurately, especially if you're trying to maximize your time. The park's website is a great resource for timing visits to various features.
Step
2
Ready, aim, shoot
Once you've got a plan in order, make sure you have enough battery to last and any other camera gear, pay your fees and head into the park. Have your map ready so it's easier to navigate to your points of interest. For the sake of simplicity and efficiency, consider working in a single direction if timing is not an issue (for example, starting in the northern depths of the park and working south back towards the entrance to minimize backtracking). Make sure to get your dog and yourself in the photos so you have something to remember the trip by!
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More Fun Ideas...

Biking

For those active owners and dogs, good timing and preparation can make for an ideal ride. Consider taking a bike ride when traffic is low or stick to less-travelled or unpaved roads so maximize fun and safety.

Stargazing

Whether you plan to stay overnight or not, waiting until dark to partake in stargazing can be super rewarding. Thanks to limited light pollution, there are several dog-friendly locations within the park that are ideal for exactly that!

Conclusion

Aches National Park might not rank at the top of the list in terms of overall dog-friendliness, but that shouldn't discourage visitors and their canine companions from exploring all the available options the park does have to offer. Thanks to its natural beauty and sprawling size, there's no shortage of views and roads to traverse to take it all in.