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- Martin Mark
Take A Hike ... and bring the pooch
By David Miller
Salt Lake City is blessed with the Wasatch Front. The beauty of Big and Little Cottonwood canyons is equal to that found anywhere in the country. The canyons' proximity is truly unique for a metropolitan area. They are also watersheds—so dogs are strictly prohibited. But fear not! There are still plenty of pooch-friendly trails around Salt Lake City. Here are some of the most scenic and accessible.
Blood's Lake Trail
While you can't go into either of the Cottonwoods with your furry companion, you sure can get close. Blood's Lake is located on the East side of Guardsman Pass, a stone's throw from the end of Big Cottonwood. At just over a mile long, this is a perfect trail for a quick outing. The lake at the end of the trail makes for quite the view, and your dog will enjoy the cold water on a hot summer's day.
Mount Olympus Trail
At 9,000 feet, Mount Olympus' prominent north face can be clearly seen from all of Salt Lake Valley. The sharp ridge that extends to the base has a trail that runs all the way to the summit. Gaining more than 4,000 feet in less than 5 miles, it's no breeze. But if you and your pup can brave the terrain, you'll be rewarded by some jaw-dropping views.
Session Canyon Trail
Mueller Park offers a wide variety of trails, almost all of which are canine-friendly. Session Canyon is a lesser-known (and therefore less trafficked) trail in the park. Following a small creek, the trail is almost entirely shaded, and the dense trees and bubbling creek make for a cool and peaceful hike. The trail is a little over 5 miles and has some areas with poor footing, so make sure you're fully equipped with proper footwear and anything you or your dog might need on a longer outing.
Dry Creek Trail
Located in Alpine, this trail offers some spectacular views, as well as an incredible waterfall. At 10.5 miles long, it's a bit of a trek, but Horsetail Falls, along with many picturesque viewpoints, make it worth the effort. The trail is rocky, but stable, and rises at a gradual pace. The falls cascade down a sheer cliff and are some of the most magnificent in the area.
Desolation Canyon Trail
One of the more popular trails on this list, Desolation Canyon is a favorite among dog owners. The 4-mile out-and-back trail climbs to an overlook of Salt Lake Valley. With plenty of shade and amazing views, it's easy to see why it's a local favorite. The overlook is one of the best in the Wasatch, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Great Salt Lake.
Neffs Canyon Trail
Just South of Millcreek Canyon, Neffs is smaller and less trafficked. Practically in Salt Lake City, the canyon is about as accessible as they come. A great shady trail, with a gradual elevation gain, Neffs can be as easy or as hard as you make it. Take it small—or go big and hike the 6 miles to the top of the trail where you will find a beautiful Alpine meadow with a great view of surrounding peaks.