Moab is the kind of place that has the power to transfix wanderlusts without ever even stepping foot there. Myself, included. Utah overall is a big kid’s playground. With endless miles of red rock, five national parks, and numerous state parks, there’s ample opportunity to pretend you’re living in the old wild west. This spring, we loaded up the Subaru and took the pups out to explore the land of Westworld, our way.
Getting There – Scenic Byway 128
One of the best decisions we made was to ignore the GPS on the most direct route and take the Scenic Byway 128 off of I-70 down towards Moab. The landscape transforms before your very own eyes into the red rock paradise you’ve always imagined. There are no words to describe it until you experience it for yourself. Just make sure you have an epic track playing as you enter the canyons, you won’t regret it.
You’ll pass Fisher Towers on Scenic Byway 128 on the way from Grand Junction to downtown Moab. This was a great first view of some iconic red rock formations and epic desert feels. For our dog parent friends, there’s a great trail that wraps around the Tower, as well as campgrounds plentiful.
We were planning on camping on our trip to Moab; but given some sudden weather turns (always make sure to keep an eye on temperature and weather conditions in the land of the desert, especially when traveling with pets!) we booked a hotel. I’d highly recommend the La Quinta in Moab. In general, we enjoy La Quinta hotels for their dog-friendly policies, but this location in Moab took it to the next level. Not only do they have a fenced in dog park, they’re also next to a dog-friendly restaurant, the Blu Pig that gives you a discount if you’re a guest of La Quinta.
Bow Tie + Corona Arch Hike
Right outside of town, we hit the trails with our first hike to Corona Arch – you pass Bow Tie Arch along the way. There’s a steep incline towards the end of the trail we weren’t comfortable taking the dogs up given their size and the valley below us, but you can see the arches from where we ended the trail.
The next morning, we got an early start and grabbed some coffee at Moab Garage. For anyone who knows me, you know I’m sucker for some exposed brick and street art. Moab Garage delivered on both of these for us and I couldn’t have been happier.
Canyonlands National Park
Our first destination of the day was Canyonlands; as we wanted to start our journey with the farthest point away and work our way back to downtown Moab. Unfortunately Canyonlands is not very dog friendly, but for our purposes, we were able to drive around to the viewpoints and take in the sights and let the pups stretch their legs in designated areas.
Dead Horse State Park
The most dog friendly part of Moab is Dead Horse State Park. We’d recommend two trails around the east and west rim of the canyon that are dog-friendly, as well as the viewpoints of the canyon. This view is one that’s iconic, and less crowded than the national parks.
Arches National Park
Similarly to Canyonlands, Arches National Park is not exactly a dog friendly park. We did a quick drive through to see the sights, but spent most our time in the state parks and around town for puppy adventure time.