Activities For Dogs In Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

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Introduction

The Black Canyon in Gunnison National Park is dog-furiendly, and while it is large enough to be overwhelming, it is still intimate enough to feel isolated. With all the hiking trails, river access, camping, and stargazing, you and your fur buddy will have plenty to do during your visit. If you have been wanting to teach your dog to swim, there are a few places where your pooch is allowed to take a dip, and if you are going boating, you are welcome to bring Fido with you. Just don’t forget the doggy life vest.

Rim Rock Trail

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
leash
water
waste bags
Activity description
The Rim Rock Trail at the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park is approximately two miles there and back. This hike is furfect for you and your fur buddy because it has so many different scenting opportunities for those pups with curious noses and there are no really strenuous sections that are hard to maneuver with your pooch. You have to be sure that your furbaby is on a leash though because there are some steep areas and drop-offs that are not safe in the case that your pup sees something to chase. There’s also a bunch of fabulous oppawtunities for selfies for you and your little buddy to post on Facebook. This is a free activity, and you don’t have to worry about bringing anything but water and some plastic poo bags.
Step
1
Learning the leash
If your dog is not used to being on a leash, now is the time to train them. Don’t wait until you start on the hike and then spend your whole day struggling with an unhappy pup. Just let your canine kid get used to the leash by taking them on walks and go further and further each day until you are going about two miles. After a few days, your dog will be happy to get on the leash just to go for a walk.
Step
2
Walking quietly
You may want to teach your pup to walk quietly in the woods, so you can spot some wildlife. If your poochie is stomping around sniffing and barking at everything, you are not likely to see anything, not even a bird. You can teach your pup this by telling them to walk quiet during your daily walks and reward them with a treat when they do it.
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Catch Dinner

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Any Day
Free
Easy
2 - 4 hrs
Items needed
fishing tackle
water
leash
snacks
Activity description

You and your fur buddy will really enjoy catching some fish in the Gunnison River where you can find anything from bass to trout. You can fish from the bank or a boat, whichever you choose and your pooch will be able to join you for either one, but you must use a leash if you are bank fishing and it is recommended to use a leash and a doggy life jacket if you're going out in a boat. This activity is free, and you won’t need to bring anything except fishing tackle, bait, water, and maybe some snacks. Your dog does not have much to learn except for knowing how to behave and sit still while you fish. 

Step
1
Keeping the leash on
If you are bank fishing or in a boat, you have to make sure your dog is on a leash for safety and so they do not aggravate the other fishermen. Your dog should not have an issue with this but if you want to practice keeping the leash on your pup while hanging out around the house or while you fish at the local lake, that can help.
Step
2
Fetching fish
Some people who fish with their pooches like to teach them to fetch the fish if it gets off your line or even if you happen to see a school of fish within grabbing distance. Some of the best breeds for this sport are retrievers and water dogs but any breed can be trained to fetch a fish. Just start by tossing a decoy fish or toy into the water and tell them to fetch. Make sure you give them a treat when they get it so they want to do it again.
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Camp Out

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
frisbee
toys
treats
snacks
crate
Activity description
Thinking of camping overnight? Keeping your pooch busy at the campsite at Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park can be fun for both of you if you bring some fun activities for you both to enjoy. Try tossing a frisbee for your canine kid to catch, playing fetch with a ball, toy, or even a stick you find at your campsite, or you can just hang out and listen to the sounds of the wild critters in the woods. You can even walk in the woods a bit but make sure your pooch is on a leash if you leave the campsite. Bring along some treats and snacks that your pup can enjoy after a game of fetch or frisbee and some water for both of you. You may also need a crate if your dog needs to be restrained at night.
Step
1
Quiet time
Teach your pup to be quiet by practicing this at home. Sit out in your yard at night and tell your dog to “be quiet,” giving them a treat if they sit quietly for a few minutes. If they bark or start making noise, remind them to “be quiet,” and then give them a treat once they are quiet again.
Step
2
Frisbee or fetch
Teaching your dog to play frisbee or fetch is simple if you bring treats. Toss the frisbee or toy and let your dog go get it. When they bring it back, tell your pup they are a “good dog’ and give them a treat. When they drop the frisbee or ball to eat the treat, grab it so you can toss it again.
Step
3
Nighttime
When it is time to retire for the night, your pup should readily settle down after such a busy day. Keep your pup in the tent with you, safe from wandering wildlife, bugs, and inclement weather. Provide a dog bed or cushy blanket so that they have the same cozy comfort level as you and within no time, they should be in slumberland.
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More Fun Ideas...

Swimming

If your dog is good at swimming, the Gunnison River is fine for them to swim in, but you should make sure they wear the right size doggy life vest because of the current. There are certain areas where dogs are not allowed to swim so you will have to check with the rangers or park office about these rules.

Boat Trip

If you and your poochie want to take a boat tour, they offer these at certain times of the year, but you need to check with the park office for availability and rules about canine kids. The Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park is dog-furiendly in most cases, but there are some tours that dogs are not allowed on for safety reasons.

Conclusion

The Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park really enjoys having you and your canine kids visit the park. In fact, they will go out of their way to accommodate you both so if you have any questions about these or other activities at the park, check with the park office or on the park website for more details.