There’s no question, Salt Lake is a great pet friendly vacation destination. If you love spending time at the park, exploring the trails, sipping drinks on a sunny restaurant patio, or strolling a nature path, you’ll find a wonderful selection of things to do in Salt Lake City. And, of course, your best friend can enjoy them with you!
There are a bunch of pet friendly hotels in Salt Lake City to choose from. Or you can do what we did … check into the RV park that’s walking distance of downtown. It was the perfect jumping off point to experience all Salt Lake City has to offer.
Salt Lake City was founded on July 24, 1847, by a group of Mormon pioneers. The Mormons came to the valley searching for a place to practice their religion, free from hostile mobs and persecution. Within a few days of their arrival in the valley, the pioneers had drawn plans for Great Salt Lake City, which they named after the salty lake that dominates the desert to the west.
From the center of the city, which is now Temple Square, blocks were arranged outward on a grid pattern in 10-acre squares. The parcels were separated by streets 132 feet wide — “wide enough for a team of four oxen and a covered wagon to turn around.” Now those streets give the city a spacious, airy feel.
One of Utah’s most popular tourist destinations, Temple Square, is in the heart of downtown. This 10-acre complex is home to the Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the grounds and gardens are lovely. It’s an ideal place to plant yourself on a bench and enjoy the peacefulness that’s been carefully cultivated in the center of this bustling city.
From Temple Square, head off in any direction and you’re bound to find a park. Salt Lake has to be one of the greenest city we’ve ever been to! Pioneer Park is a few blocks to the southwest and features the Saturday farmer’s market. A tree-lined promenade is the highlight of Liberty Park. And Brigham Young Historic Park commemorates a leader in The Church of Latter Day Saints and a pioneer in the settlement of the western United States.
The Capitol building was constructed between 1912 and 1916 with local granite and is crowned with a dome covered in Utah copper. Even if architecture isn’t your thing, this is a pretty spectacular building. And it’s hilltop location delivers a great view of the city.
Cross the street to the east of the capitol and you’ll be looking down into City Creek Canyon. Follow the path that drops down the steep canyon wall and into the park below. This is one of the most popular parks in the city – for good reason! With memorials to Utah’s veterans, a replica of the Liberty Bell, and trails through the botanical garden, there’s something for everyone.
At the back of the park is an off-leash trail along the creek and pond where your pooch can have a romp and a splash. From there, head up the main City Creek Canyon road or the dirt trail that parallels it on the opposite side of the canyon stream. They run for miles, and get quieter as you go. Just be sure to keep your pup on leash, because cyclists come flying down the paved canyon road.
The Bonneville Shoreline is a gem and winds for miles along the foothills of the city. Countless spurs and off-shoot trails give you and your dog endless opportunities to explore, all with spectacular views of the city and the mountains. Check the map of the trail network and choose one of the many convenient trailheads.
My bet is that dog heaven looks a lot like Tanner Dog Park. Nestled at the mouth of Parley’s Canyon, the park has 13 acres of off-leash trails and another 10 acres of on-leash sections. The small river running through the grounds provides two watering holes for dogs, one at each end of the trail. Remember to start the trail with the dogs on leash; when you reach the bottom of the hill at the first watering hole, dogs can shed their leashes. It is about a mile from the parking lot to the second watering hole, which is at the far eastern end of the park.
When it’s time for a little retail therapy, head over to The Gateway. This outdoor shopping center has over 100 retailers and restaurants. Some of the shops even welcome leashed dogs inside – just be sure to ask first.
With so many pet friendly things to do in Salt Lake City, you’re sure to work up an appetite! The delicious truth: there are a couple dozen establishments around town that allow dogs on the patio. Campfire Lounge in Sugarhouse is a local favorite, as are Fisher Brewing, Roots Cafe, T.F. Brewing, and Caputo’s on 15th.
Of course, no trip to Salt Lake would be complete without taking the 30 minute drive up to Park City. This cool little ski town is always entertaining – anytime of the year!
Whether you’re a history buff, shopaholic, hiker, biker, or foodie, you’ll find something to enjoy in Park City. Stop in the visitor’s center and pick up a historic walking tour guide as you make your way up Main Street. You can learn a little trivia as you check out the many boutiques, coffee shops, and restaurants along the way.
And, of course, don’t forget to snap a photo with Franz the Bear!
We had a great time with the boys exploring fun things to do in Salt Lake City and Park City. We hope our experience encourages you to see it for yourself! If you know of more pet friendly gems in the area, be sure to share them in the comments below.
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