10 dog friendly hikes around Park City
Park City offers hundreds of well-maintained hiking trails to the public, and the majority of them are dog-friendly – lucky us! Here is a list of our top 10 favorite places to hike with our furry friends.
1. Rob’s Trail
Located near the top of Sun Peak, Rob’s trail offers beautiful views of Park City and the ski resort. It’s a local favorite for year-round hiking and mountain biking, so avoid it on weekends if you don’t want a crowd. The trail switchbacks up the mountain for about 1.75 miles before flattening out and ending at the junction of the Olympic and Ambush trails, 2.5 miles in. If you hike up and run down like the dogs always do, it’ll take you about an hour, roundtrip.
Why is it so great? It’s mostly in the shade, all the climbing is via switchback, and downhill bikers aren’t allowed after the first ¾ mile.
Bring a leash and water.
Park City’s own natural stair-stepper – bring Fido to Iron for some quick cardio and a beautiful view.
The trail begins at the top of Aspen Springs (easiest to park on road by stop sign) and heads straight up for one mile until it reaches a bench with a view. You can continue another half mile until the trail intersects with Mid Mountain and Ironman. The trail is shady most of the day and can be very muddy until mid-June. Iron is also a great winter hike, as it’s usually packed down by swiss bobbing locals and their pups.
Water-wise, there’s a stream of runoff paralleling the trail that flows through mid-July. And most of the trail is shaded.
Bring a leash, just in case.
3. Round Valley
Round Valley is the perfect place to hike, run or bike with your dog – and everyone else’s dog, too. The pup paradise offers over 30 miles of trail where dogs can roam off-leash (if they’ll come back, that is.) There is minimal shade, so bring lots of water and avoid during hot summer days. The trails are also open through winter, so you can bring Fido nordic skiing, snowshoeing, or fat biking.
During busy times, it is best to stay on the main double-track trails to avoid bike-dog collisions. We recommend Matt’s Flat to Round Valley Express starting at the Round Valley Way Trailhead. If you want a quick climb, head to the Old Ranch Trailhead and hustle up Happy Gilmor, but keep your eye out for bikers.
Leash required at trailhead/parking areas. Bring water. And don’t let Fido dig up all the sagebrush!
Don’t be turned away from the “dog park” status of Run-a-muk — you can get your exercise in here, too! Located below the Olympic Park (and up the street from Hugo) this off-leash dog area contains 43 acres of open space and 2 miles of trail. Your pup can mingle with others and you can get your phone calls in. If the lower loop isn’t enough for you, head up the hill on Up Dog, where you’ll run into Iron Bill after about a mile. From there you can continue onto the other UOP trails.
There is a creek that runs through the area, but bring water in case – there’s not a lot of shade! Leash required in the parking lot.
This pleasant loop at Park City Mountain Resort is a popular local favorite for mountain bikers — its wide switchbacks, flowy downhills, and decent shade make it the perfect post-workday peddle. It’s also a great place to hike the dogs.
For a solid 3 mile hike, start on the right side of Jenni’s (bikers’ uphill) to head clockwise around the loop, paralleling the dirt road. When the trail forks about 1.5 miles in, head left onto the CMG Downhill for another 1.5 miles to finish at the base of PCMR. Don’t worry, the switchbacks will save your knees. `
The loop is in shade for about a third of its length, so we’d recommend an early summer morning or fall hike – but try to avoid Saturday morning bike traffic.
6. Bloods Lake
Bloods Lake Trail is comprised of gorgeous views and a beautiful lake for swimming, making it the ultimate summer afternoon hike for you and your canine. The trail begins at the top of Guardsman Pass and winds its way through Aspen groves and wildflower meadows until it reaches a small lake about 1.5 miles in. The last part of the hike is steep and can be slippery if it’s muddy, so wear good shoes. The water in the lake is usually clean and algae free, so feel free to make like a hot dog and swim (or polar plunge until late July).
For a longer hike, continue past Bloods Lake on the Lacawaxen Lake Trail. You’ll hit a smaller lake after another mile or so – making a great, 5 mile out-and-back for you and your dog.
Note that dogs are not allowed west of the summit, in Big Cottonwood Canyon. So stay on the Park City side and remember to clean up your dog’s poop. And bring a leash!
7. Frog Valley
Not a hike, but it’ll wear out your dogs. Frog Valley is a network of walking paths surrounding four big ponds near the base of Deer Valley Resort. It’s a great place for dogs to swim or fetch in the water. You’ll usually have company at the ponds, as it’s also a popular place to fish and paddleboard – but there’s enough room to be antisocial. These ponds can get crowded in the summer, as they make a great hiking alternative to the nearby, no-dogs-allowed Deer Valley trails.
If your dog is a fetcher but prefers to wade in rather than jump, the lake on the Solamere side (farthest from the resort) has a long stretch of shallow beach to run around in. We recommend grabbing some Hugo coffee from Deer Valley Cafe to take on your lovely stroll.
Bring a leash and ball for Fido, and hat for yourself – shade is hard to come by.
8. Road to Wos
Summit Park’s Road to WOS is a beautiful, shady 3.5-mile loop that you and your dog will both love. Summit Park? Might as well drive to Salt Lake at that point, right? Wrong. It’s really only a 10-minute drive from Kimball Junction. We promise.
Most bikers begin this trail by turning left at the first fork to go up the steady switchbacks. If you’re hiking, we think it’s best to stay right and continue up the main trail, then jump onto the Upper Water Tower trail about ¾ miles up. Soon you’ll run into the Road to Wos Trailhead, and you’ll have about a mile of steep climbing behind you. The rest of the loop flows gradually through the shade, then switchbacks down to where you parked.
There are a couple of springs around in spring and early summer, but you shouldn’t rely on them for water. And, as always, bring a leash.
One of our favorite morning strolls starts on the Farm Trail by White Pine Canyon. To get a good walk in, start from St. Mary’s church or the Olympics Memorial lot. In about 3/4 mile, the path gets very steep from both directions – you’ll often see cyclists walking their bikes. Fear not: You can make the climb enjoyable by hopping on the McPolin Nature Trail, a ½ mile moderate hike that ends back on the main trail, just above the White Barn.
The Nature Trail is fun for the whole family, complete with interpretive signs along the way that point out native plants and wildlife. Beautiful quaking Aspens line the entire trail, making it feel like your fully immersed in nature. There are also a few runoff streams throughout for the doggos.
After the hike, you can go back to the way you came, or head under the road at the McPolin Barn and make your way to the dog park at Willow Creek! We also recommend going in October so you can check out the homemade scarecrow decor along the path.
Note that the Farm Trail turns into an E-Bike highway in the summer, so keep Fido’s leash on.
10. Gambel Oak Loop
This is another great 3.5-mile loop where you can take the dogs hiking (or running) with beautiful views of Old Town and the resort. To get most climbing over with, start the loop at the Lost Prospector trailhead, up the street from where you park. After a half-mile, get on the road and head right, until you see the Gambel Oak Park Trailhead. This is a hefty mile climb that’ll get the dogs panting. At the top of the climb, go right at the fork onto Masonic, where you’ll begin a pleasant 1.5 mile downhill. For more shade, you can continue right at the fork on Masonic (as it tends to be shadier) or get back onto Lost Prospector for an easy, sunny walk back to the car.
There seem to be just as many hikers as there are bikers on this trail, so the latter should be expecting you and your dog out and about. But be wary of blind corners and fast downhill bikers by keeping your dog on a leash.
It gets hot in the summer and there are very few trees for shade. Bring water.