German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone been to the parks in the Arizona/Colorado area, such as Zion, Bryce, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon etc?? Or even Grand Teton, Yellowstone areas up in Wyoming.

We are thinking of planning a trip to that area and are wondering a few things:

1) If you have been, did you or would you take your dog. Are those areas dog friendly? Or would taking a dog limit you from doing to many things? I hate the idea of putting Mattie in a kennel or asking someone to take care of her for one or two weeks, but don't want to take her on a trip that is not dog friendly either. We currently have taken her on our trips to Michigan's UP, and we do a lot of hiking to waterfalls, which we can take her on. But if dogs are not allowed in a lot of places in these parks I would not want to have to leave her in the hotel a lot of the time, so it might not be worth bringing her, Or if it is to hot, or the hikes are to tough for a dog. Matties three and a half, long coat, and she doesn't like the heat a whole lot, at least without water to go into to cool off....

2) What is there to do at those parks. They look cool, but are they one stop visits where you look and ooohh and ahhhh for a few minutes and then move on, or would you spend a couple of days at each place?

3) What is the best time of year to go to them?

4) If you would bring a dog, does anyone know dog friendly hotels in these areas? Or any special precautions for bringing a dog?

5) Actually any information about these parks would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
hey! sorry ive never been to those parks so i cant really help you with that information, but i just wanted to say that http://www.dogfriendly.com is really useful. it has dog friendly activites, parks, camp grounds, hotels etc so if you do want to take your dog, they should be able to help you out in planning your get away. have a great time!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
We have taken our GSDs in many states out west, including much of AZ, and to Zion, and have been to Grand Teton and Yellowstone. In the National Parks, they are generally not allowed in the backcountry or on most trails, although at Grand Canyon, they used to let you take pets on the rim trails, just not below. You can call the reservation or info line or check the websites for each park's current pet policy, as this usually varies between parks. The national parks are much more restrictive with pets than state or local parks, or BLM and USFS lands.

We travel in an RV, which frees us to up leave our dogs in it while we explore if they are not able to go with us, but limits our time out and means no primitive camping in the backcountry in the nat parks. We just have to be sure that the campgrounds are pet friendly...and the majority are. And we found that during our travels in AZ, NV, and CA in the summer, we had to worry about the power supply coming from the rv park, as in some parks the campground breaker would get tripped, shutting the AC off. We didn't go anywhere during the days when we could not take the dogs because of the chance of overheating them in the RV.

Lady, our long coat, also limited our hiking in the summer for the same reason, although when we lived there, she blew her undercoat in the spring and didn't grow it back as heavily in the fall.

I have not been to Mesa Verde, so cannot comment on it. However, with each of the other parks you mentioned, they are not one stop/one day visits. You will miss MUCH of the sights if you do not get away from the main areas and the people. I would spend as much time as possible at each park, even if it means visiting fewer parks on the vacation so you see more at each. We could spend days just meandering around the rim of the grand canyon, and days below the rim. As far as the best time to go...depends on the park and what you want to do at each. We were at Zion in the winter. The sights were amazing covered with snow. We went to grand teton and yellowstone in July, and it snowed on us as well but the daytime temperatures were incredibly comfortable. The grand canyon is deceptive, depending on which rim you go to and the time of year because of the elevation changes. It may be comfortable on the south rim in the summer, but when you hike below the rim into the gorge, you can expect temperature to increase probably 25 degrees, and with the sun reflecting, you will feel like you have stepped into an oven. It is not an easy hike out either. Definately consider doing the mule ride, but you have to reserve that well in advance. Travel books, including off the beaten path references (I like the Lonely Planet series) are great sources of info on the parks and what they have to offer.

I am sure someone else can help you with pet friendly hotels. In general, we have had good luck with Days Inns and Comfort Inns.

Re special precautions: be aware of your dog and the heat, and no matter where you are hiking with your dogs in areas with rattlesnakes, be aware of their every sniff, and don't let them off leash. Also, don't let them drink from deceptively clean looking springs or streams. Something we learned the hard way: in many areas of the west, there are giardia cysts in the soil. Our dogs came down with a nasty bout of giardia after playing frisbee in NV
....from getting the sandy dirt in their mouths off the frisbee. We were fastidious with not letting them drink from streams, etc., and only gave them filtered water, but didn't know that the soil retained the cysts. oops
. Definately pack a first aid kit for your dogs, and include good needle-nosed pliars and a comb for pulling out cactus needles if you are going into desert areas.

Good luck with your trip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,254 Posts
If you decide to go to Bryce, I would definitely bring your dogs. There is a ton of dog friendly things to do outside of the park. We board our dogs for the day when we go inside the park. PM me if you decide to go and need more info - we go up there with the dogs once or twice a year (either camping or to play in the snow).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Kaylesraven for the information. It sounds like you've been there a lot and know what you are doing. I would find it hard not to let the dog go into the water, since she really loves it, especially when it is hot out, but I don't want her to get sick, either.

mspiker03, is there any reason you couldn't post more information here, like dog friendly things to do outside the park, in case others are interested in the same trips?

I googled both Zion and Bryce, and it looks like dogs are not allowed on pretty much any of the trails in the park, so the parks are not dog friendly. If we were to go, we'd either have to leave the dog in the hotel or board her locally, while we saw all the sights. I'm not sure that sounds very appealing to me, though both of you sound like you have had good times visiting these areas. It seems like all the actual sights we would travel out there to see we could not bring the dog, that is disappointing.

Any more information would be appreciated to make me think these areas would be fun to travel with a dog???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,254 Posts
And give away my secrets?!!
Sure...I was just being lazy at the moment (most of my Bryce links are in a pm and it is hard to switch back and forth).

There is really so much to do, that I don't know where to start. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this area!

First, you have Escalante Grand Staircase/National monument which is nearly 1.9 million (yes million) acres where your dog can run off leash (except for Calf Creek Falls trails, where leashes are required and 2 slot canyons where It would be too technical for the dog to get into):

http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/grand_staircase-escalante.html
http://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/grand_staircase_escalante/national_monument.html

Here is Willis Creek (slot canyon hike, and one of our favorites in the monument because it is a wet hike and the dogs loved running in the creek):


We also like Devils Garden. There are too many hikes to list and different parts of the monument (you can go hike near Bryce or further south in Kanab). I would recommend 4 wheel drive, but I have seen cars drive out into the monument without it. There are some really friendly visitors centers for the monumnet (We've been to the ones in Cannonville and Escalante) that will help you find some good hikes around the area. They have maps to get you out to each trailhead.

Then there is Red Canyon (which is like Bryce, but smaller). It is maybe 15 min West of Bryce (I find that I don't keep track of time when I am out there). Dogs are allowed leashed. We LOVE this area and have hiked many of the trails.
http://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/red_canyon/index.html

Here is Red Canyon in the winter (don't have any summer pictures uploaded onto photo bucket)


And Kodachrome State Park is cool (all state parks are dog friendly in Utah, leashes required). I don't have any pictures uploaded into photobucket of Kodachrome
http://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/kodachrome_basin/state_park.html
http://www.utah.com/stateparks/kodachrome.htm
http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/kodachrome/

And near Kodachrome is Grosrvenor Arch, which is neat (I think it is actually in the monument). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grosvenor_Arch

Also, all state parks in Utah allow leashed dogs. There is the Petrified Forrest State Park in Escalante that we went to once, although it was excessively hot when we were there. Down south (near Kanab), I believe is the Corral Pink Sand Dune State Park (We haven't been there).

Then, there is Bryce. Just spectacular. I actually prefer it in the winter when it is quiet, but summer is nice too. There are two dog boarding places near Bryce where you can board your dogs for the day if you want to go into the national park (since dogs aren't allowed). The hotel (Rubys) just outside of Bryce is dog friendly and I'm sure most of the camp grounds around the area are (we stayed at the KOA in Cannonville, Utah which was dog friendly and closer to the monument). If you are going to do Bryce, and have some time, you could easily see Zion and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. There is one trail in Zion that allows leashed pets.

I would say the best time would be Spring or Fall to hike in the monument itself. It gets hot in the summer. We went in June, twice, and the second time we were quite limited because of the heat (we spent more time in Red Canyon). Red Canyon and Bryce are much cooler, but the monument is the most dog friendly. You actually, could probably hike most of the monument in the winter too (I don't think it snows there - but it does snow in Red Canyon and Bryce...and occasionally Zion). I will make a note - that much of the area around Bryce is shut down during the winter; the hotel is still open, but you have to travel a bit further to get to more restaurant options than during the summer. We spend most of our time near Bryce and the monument, so I am not sure what near Zion there is to do with the dogs. I would check out any BLM land.

That should give you a good start to the area!


Sigh...everytime I talk about Bryce I get antsy to get out there again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
OOHHH those pictures are gorgeous, the willis creek one looks like so much fun, you just hike up the river?? It is making me want to start planning a trip. If we went, it wouldn't be till next year since this years vacation is already planned, but this looks like it might be moving up the list of places to go. Thanks for the pics and links, it gives me a place to start research. The "west" is so huge I didn't know where to start!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,254 Posts
Yeah, from what I remember (we haven't done Willis Creek in a couple of years), you hike about 2 miles along the creek (and then 2 miles back) - although you could make the hike much longer if you want. It is a VERY easy hike...mostly flat. There are two areas that you have to climb down - but the dogs were fine. I mean, with 1.9 million acres, the possiblities are endless out there. If you decide to go, let me know and I'll give you more info (depending on how long you would be in the area). The last few times we were there it was winter, but we are hoping to go for Thanksgiving this year and do some of the hikes that were too hot to do in June (and if there isn't snow, we won't be tempted to stay in the snowy parts) and go towards the Southern portion of the monument - there are several hikes we have "bookmarked" that we want to do there.

We have a gazillion more pictures (and those above aren't even the best!), but most of them aren't uploaded to photobucket. Many of the pictures (especially those of Bryce) just don't do the area justice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
I have been to Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon. Wasn't that thrilled with the Grand Canyon compared to the other two.

Zion and Bryce were absolutely gorgeous! I especially like Bryce. I didn't take dogs either time so I don't know about dog friendliness or dog hotels.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top