Five Great Hikes for Dog LoversOct 07, 2015 10:06AM ● By Bryan Scott
By Aimee L. Cook
Now that the fall weather is upon us, taking a hike with your four-legged friend is more enjoyable. You and your dog can walk or hike greater distances in the cooler weather and take in more of the scenic hikes around this great state.
Portia Ogara, owner of “Everyone ‘n Their Dog” pet services, hikes a pack of various size dogs several times a week. She also offers specialty walks for dogs that can’t be socialized that need to be on leash.
“I don’t use dog parks very much anymore, except for my older dogs, because they just don’t offer enough variety to really exercise the dogs,” Ogara said. “Sadly, people aren’t very good at watching their dogs either and with my occupation, I don’t need a dog fight breaking out.”
Taking into account the many parks, pathways, and hikes she has traveled on over the years with her clients, here are her top five picks.
Perry’s Hollow: Located in the upper avenues of Salt Lake City, just off of Tomahawk Drive, this hike offers a choice of either hiking the bobsled or you can traverse up for a great, energetic burn.
Neff’s Canyon: Located in the Olympus Cove area, this canyon is accessible year round. This hike offers two choices -- you can go up the main trail, which is wide open, but somewhat strenuous; or take the lower trails that are shaded from the sun and less difficult. You can hike up the meadows which is about a mile and half walk.
Millcreek Canyon: Hike up to the Terraces, past Log Haven restaurant. On the upper side of the canyon, it is shady and lush and running water is available the entire way for the dogs.
Thayne’s Canyon: Desolation Trailhead is an old dry creek bed that has variations to the pitch, which makes a great workout. The area is also very shady.
Red Butte: Accessible year round, the best place to go with dogs is by the amphitheater, there you have several terrain alternatives. There are many levels and a water vein where dogs can get water. She recommends not going on the other side near what is known as the ‘Living Room’ due to snakes.
“Whether you are hiking with a pack of dogs like I do, or just a solo, it is so important to make sure your dogs are under control,” Ogara said. “Also make sure you are cleaning up after your dog so that others can enjoy the space. Hiking with your dog off-leash is a great outing for both the owner and the dog.”
Ogara believes that no matter what the dog’s situation is, or the size of the dog, every dog should be taken outside for exercise and socialization. The dog and their human companion will benefit in many ways no matter the time dedicated to the walk. And for those pet owners who simply don’t have the time, Ogara recommends hiring a professional dog walker so that your pet can live a healthy lifestyle.