Activities For Dogs In Canyonlands National Park

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Introduction

Canyonlands National Park is Utah's largest park. This massive park is opened year round and provides many exciting outdoor adventure opportunities even if you are traveling with your dog. Although the entire park is not open to dogs, a vast portion of the area is available to four-legged canines. With a bit of ingenuity and planning, you and your best buddy can have a fun outdoor adventure together. However, remember that the temperatures at Canyonland are extreme. In the summer months, it can be sweltering and in the winter very cold, so always prepare according to whatever season you and Fido will be visiting the area.

Camping

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
24 - 48 hrs
Items needed
Tenting supplies
First Aid Kit
Water
Food
Leash
Collar
Activity description
Within Canyonlands National Park are two campgrounds that welcome dogs,  Island in the Sky Campground (Willow Flat) and the Needles Campground. Willow Flat is a very basic campground. Facilities do not include running water, electricity, or showers. There are seasonal vault toilets. At Needles Campground (also called Squaw Flat), you will find running water, showers, and power. Ultimately, it will be your choice where you decide to camp. Many people like roughing it and others prefer more modern conveniences when they camp. Your dog won't care where you camp as long as they are by your side. 
Step
1
Getting used to the area
If your dog has never been camping before it is going to take a bit of getting used to the entire experience. You might be staying in a trailer or a camper but the whole change from usual sleeping quarters is new to your dog. Be sure to take the time to show your pooch around the campground so they get used to the multitude of scents and sounds before being expected to settle down for the night.
Step
2
Water and food
Willow Flat has no real facilities so be sure you pack enough water and food for your dog to be comfortable. At Squaw Flat there is usually running water but you should still bring a ready supply of water just in case something happens to the water source. Always offer your dog food and water upon arrival so they start to adjust and feel comfortable. At first, your pooch might not want to eat or drink but as your pet settles into the environment, they will be hungry and thirsty.
Step
3
Relaxing
Once your dog realizes that you will be staying on the location for a day or two then you can take them for a walk and let them get used to the campground. As night falls and you settle down to go to sleep be sure to offer plenty of words of encouragement. Your dog will probably be beset with a variety of scents and sounds so reassurance is important.
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Walkabout

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Collar
Waste Bags
Activity description
Dogs are not allowed on most trails within Canyonland National Park. However, if you want to stretch your legs with your four-legged friend, then you can always explore the Potash/Shafer Canyon road between Moab and Island in the Sky together. Most dogs are easy to please, and your pooch will be happy just spending time with you even if it is a walk down a roadway. To enjoy this relaxing activity you only need your pup's leash and some waste bags and off you go for an adventure that can last as long as you like! A walk is a relaxing way to spend time and bond with your pet in any weather, especially at Canyonland where you will be surrounded by beautiful scenery. 
Step
1
Soak in the beauty
As you walk the roadway be sure to take the time to soak in the park's beauty. You might even want to stop to take a few photos of your pooch as you stroll along. Despite their curiosity and need to explore, you must keep them on leash for their safety. Respecting the park's flora and fauna is essential as well.
Step
2
Wildlife Encounter
If your dog should spot some of the park's wildlife, keep a firm hand on your pooch's leash and try to prevent them from barking at the wild animals. Remember, you and your dog are visiting their home and these native park animals deserve to not be disturbed or frightened in any way.
Step
3
Water break
During the spring, summer, and fall months the Canyonlands National Park can become very hot; be sure to carry water with you and offer your pooch a cool and refreshing drink. They may not appear to be tired and thirsty; however, frequent rest stops not only allow for refreshment but doing so will give your dog a chance to experience and enjoy new sights and smells.
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Picnic Pleasure

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Blanket
Food
Water
Waste Bags
Activity description
Unfortunately, much of Canyonlands National Park is off-limits to dogs but while enjoying your camping experience at either Willow Flat or Squaw Flat, plan a picnic as one of your activities. Before heading out to the campground for your stay, pack and prepare for a fun picnic to take place while on site. Include a few of your pet's favorite healthy treats in the mix and plan on sharing some of your healthy fare. Your dog has to stay away from the chicken and rib bones, but will enjoy a special treat of vegetables like celery and broccoli. Treat them with a little cheese, too and the picnic will be one to remember!
Step
1
Go for a walk
Taking your dog on a walk around the campground before settling down to eat will build up their appetite and also make them more apt to be settled for a bit. While on the walk, your dog will also have the chance to meet other campers and their pets. Who knows, you may make instant friends with someone and invite them to your picnic!
Step
2
Safe picnic
When choosing the picnic area keep a few things in mind. A shady area is key to comfort as is an area free from toxic plants that may be harmful to your pet - don't allow them to chew on plants! Place a blanket on the ground for your pup to lie on so that they are safe from ants that may bite and other pesky critters. You should be all set now to share the picnic basket of food, safe for both dog and owner.
Step
3
Clean up
Any time you are having a picnic in the great outdoors you should always take the time to clean up all trash. This shows respect for the environment and also prevents attracting wild animals to the campsite later on. Remember, your dog might be tempted to chase a wild animal and there is a chance that your dog could be injured during such an encounter.
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More Fun Ideas...

Visit the Nearby Barkery

If you are enjoying everything that Canyonlands National Park has to offer, then you have probably discovered that there are not a lot of places within the park's confines that welcome pets. If your dog is becoming bored with your camping adventure at the park, then why not drive into nearby Moab for the afternoon to visit the Barkery? The Barkery is a retailer that provides a large selection of pet foods, natural treats, supplements, outdoor gear, doggy apparel, and fun pet-related gifts.

A Day of Boarding

If you want to see everything that Canyonlands National Park has to offer, then you are going to want to make arrangements to board your beloved pooch at a local facility for the day. There are several day boarding services available in nearby Moab where your pet can spend a full filled afternoon around other dogs while you explore the areas of Canyonlands that do not allow pets. You will need to make reservations for your pooch. Also, have all vaccination records and veterinarian information on hand to give the facility.

Conclusion

Many pet owners feel discouraged when they visit Canyonlands National Park because dogs are not allowed at the scenic overlooks, on real hiking trails, in the backcountry, or along any of the rivers. You cannot even drive onto the backcountry roads if your dog is in the car with you. However, these laws and restrictions have been put into place to protect your dog, the ecosystem, and the wildlife that live within the park. Despite the many limitations, there are still plenty of things that you can enjoy with your dog at the campgrounds and in areas that surround the park. Remember that your pooch loves being beside you so the trip will be a happy adventure for your canine even if the range of discovery is a bit limited.